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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Unblemished or Scarred?

Well, I guess if we’ve lived more than a few months on this earth, we will have to admit that we carry a few scars. Both visible and invisible. On our skin or on our hearts or minds. 

A mother recalled recently her distress when she saw her daughter’s hand badly cut, knowing it would never be the same as it was when she was a wee girl. Another person I know was upset to see her son’s tattoo, knowing, again, that his formerly unblemished shin would now forever be marked.

All of us who have suffered bereavement or loss of one kind or another know that there are wounds on our psyches which may have healed, yet bear scars. Scars that will always be there. Time may heal, but the scars remain.

I was encouraged today when a medically-trained friend explained that while we may find scars distressing, in fact they are tougher than ordinary skin and therefore very protective. In its earliest stages, scars are vulnerable to re-injury, but after a time the scar tissue becomes stronger than ordinary skin.

Suddenly scars don’t seem so disfiguring. Because we all bear them, none of us needs feel they are marks of shame. In fact, they are marks which enable us to draw close to others who suffer similar injuries, because we can empathise with their pain.

As a final codicil to this discussion, someone else suggested that when the mother felt distressed at the scars on her daughter’s hand, she need only think of the hands of our Saviour Jesus Christ, hands pierced and scarred forever because of his love for her daughter, and for the whole world.

Perfection is not necessarily unblemished.

May the scars you bear, bless those you meet today.

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