They say time heals all wounds, but what about the scars? The year was 2001, and I was pregnant with our second child. I’d gained 50 pounds which stretched my small frame to its limit so I was smearing emu oil on my enormous belly like there was no tomorrow! My sister Cindy had heard it, along with dissolving scars, was effective in preventing stretch marks.Whether it was the emu oil or the Grace of God, my stomach wasn’t left with marbled lines (which I would have treasured anyway) The scars I do bear are barely noteworthy; a faded indentation on my bicep where I got a smallpox vaccine as a toddler and a circular chicken pox scar near my right eye that looks like a frog’s ear. While my scars aren’t exciting I know people whose are!
If there were awards given for survival scars, our family friend, Michael, would get a trophy. His best buddy ran him over with his car (accidentally) which knocked out his front teeth, ripped off his lip, and tore his hip up terribly. Another day of fun he flew off his motorcycle and went through a barbed wire fence that left his shoulder looking like a shark bite ….and these are just the times he actually went to the hospital! He thinks he was also shot at once but escaped due to his good luck. Adventurer Bear Grylls could have been describing Michael when he said, “Who wants to reach the end of their life in a perfectly preserved body? The scars and crinkles and the cracks are what make us interesting.”
Scars tell our stories, usually evidence we have been saved from something. (And if we have been saved FROM something, we can be sure we have been saved FOR something.) Dad’s scars tell us working in the woods where he spent most of his career is dangerous. There’s a gash over his right knee where an angry ax bounced back, a line on his left arm where a chainsaw almost severed it, and a 4 inch line under his white wispy hair that reminds us he’s lucky to be alive after a branch broke loose and fell on him.
Scars can be extensions of personalities. For example, my son has a scar on his hip bone because he got the “speed wobbles” going down a steep hill on his skateboard and left some flesh on the pavement. And when my daughter was younger she danced around crazy until she got tangled up in the scarf and hit her face on the steps, leaving a scar which makes her right eye brow go a little “towards Collins”.
Scars hold deep meaning when we know the story behind them, and the most important ones ever to grace this planet were the ones in Jesus’ hands, feet, and side. If you have doubt, Jesus will meet you in it, just like He did with a skeptical disciple. “Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” (John 20:27) When it comes to scars, emu oil will only get you so far. For those deep non-physical wounds that cut us to the core, we need something deeply effective to provide healing. For whatever has us “scarred for life”, we need the One who has truly been scarred FOR LIFE.
Janet Cowger- Fliegel