I read a story once about a little boy born with no ears. He was tormented by the other kids because he was disfigured. When he was old enough, surgeons were able to give him ears from an anonymous donor, and he grew confidently, out from under the shadow that had plagued him in his younger years. It wasn’t until he was standing with his father at the open casket of his mom, that his Dad asked him if he ever wondered who gave him his ears. Of course the boy, a man now, had always assumed it was someone who had died. His father reached forward, and gently smoothed the strands of Mom’s hair away from her face. All these years, she had hidden the scars left from where her ears had been removed. Amazing Love!
We live in a world that scrutinizes everything for imperfections. We vigilantly conceal and seek to erase our flaws and scars because we view them as ugly and shameful. But when Jesus appeared before His bewildered and weary disciples after the resurrection, He openly showed them His scars. Rather than concealing them, He who was perfect, retained these marks on His flesh to bear witness to the depths of His humiliation and suffering, and the depths of His love. Jesus withheld nothing, choosing to subject Himself to trauma and pain on our behalf. Jesus withholds nothing now. Amazing Love!
He is the Wounded One. He is the Resurrected One. He is the Living One.
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For the last 6 weeks, I have observed Lent, not because it was required but because I wanted to. Just like last year, I gave up sugar in all its forms, no easy task for someone who loves her sweets! 🙂 Last year, I became aware of how often I run to sweets when I’m disappointed, sad, bored, or angry, instead of running to the Lord. This year, I have had no grand revelations or deep thoughts, until this final week. Jesus’ scars.
I have many scars, not just on my body, but on my heart. Some wounds have faded, some have been healed completely; others are still keenly felt. Jesus touches every one.
Most of my scars are the result of my own making, in the choices I’ve made and the situations I have put myself in. Not all, of course. People are cruel, self-centered creatures by nature and we can easily become hapless victims in their games.
“Jesus’ wounds take in my hurt. My scars reveal His glory.”
– Sharon Garlough Brown
Whether by choice or the choice of another, each nick and knock has had a part in shaping me. They may not have been part of God’s original plan for my life, but they are glorious marks because of His power to heal and restore. All of my wounds and scars are part of my story, but God is the Author and Perfecter of my faith. He is the One who has redeemed all my mistakes. Amazing Love! So my prayer this Easter is this:
If You can hold the stars in place
You can hold my heart the same
Whenever I fall away, whenever I start to break
So here I am lifting up my heart
To the One who holds the stars*
To the one with nail-scarred hands. Lord, help me to say to others “this is where I hurt…this is where God has healed”. Let my marks bear witness to the depths of Your love. Amen.