A popular Christian song talks about scars. Each time I hear this song I look at I my fingers, arms and legs for they have more scars than I can remember. Each scar tells a story of an accident, a mistake, a difficult job or the consequence of distraction. My biggest scar I do not see often for it runs up and down my chest where I had my heart bypass surgery 14 years ago.
Hardly noticeable on my finger is the scar from when I took a chain saw under a tree and tried to cut low hanging branches. Not a smart move, especially when using a chain saw for the first time. Thankfully, despite almost cutting off that finger and not receiving any medical attention, the wound healed but the scar is there to remind me NOT to think I am superman.
On my other hand is a very pronounced scar where, again, a chain saw came within a millimeter of cutting off the middle finger of my left hand. This time I simply got careless and did not think about the consequences of holding a stick in one hand and trying to cut it with the chainsaw in the other.
On both wrists are scars from the carpal tunnel surgeries I had three months apart in 1999. They serve as a reminder of the goodness of God as I think back to how I could hardly write, let alone type, during the years leading up to the surgeries.
Above my lip is a tiny scar where the furnace I had my 18 year old head in blew up as I was welding a corner. I had no training to do that job but my boss was shorthanded and needed a volunteer. That was the first and is the last time I will ever volunteer to do something so dangerous with no instructions on safety etc.
On my hand is a tiny scar where a doctor took a skin graft and on my finger is another scar where that graft was placed. This was all because a doctor failed to notice a deep infection on the finger resulting from a botched wart removal. Oh how those scars remind me of the pain and discomfort I experienced for many weeks.
All my scars remind me of who I was and what I DID but not of whom I am and what I am DOING. When Jesus appeared to the disciples, Thomas doubted it was really Him. Jesus told him to behold his hands and scars left from the nails that pierced Him. Interestingly, when Jesus Christ was raised with His new body, He still bore the scars of His suffering and death for our sins.
I thank God for my scars and I have come to call them my friends for they usually lead me to a deeper appreciation of God’s grace and mercy. I am indeed thankful to have reminders I can readily be reminded of God protecting me, presiding over the healing of me and His super abounding love for me. Although the pain associated with those scars vanished long ago, their presence draws me closer to my Lord and my God.