A few months back I went to a meeting for Samaritan Women. It’s a ministry for previously incarcerated women and women recovering from addiction. In this meeting, I met a lady that was previously a Samaritan woman and was now mentoring ladies in the program. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her as she shared her journey and how this ministry affected her. I’d like to say I was captivated by her speech, but I wasn’t.
I couldn’t stop staring at the scars all over her body.
She had slashes all over her arms, dents in her skin, all over.
She soon shared how she grew up abused, both physically and sexually. The man who raised her would violate her and keep her in a chicken coupe. She shared her journey from abuse, to success, to incarceration, to Samaritan women, and then to walking with the LORD. As she was sharing why this ministry is so important and why mentoring is so important, she said something that was so profound. She changed my perspective with just one sentence.
“We all have scars. I just happen to wear mine on the outside”.
All of us have scars, some of us wear them on the outside, most of us wear ours on the inside.
Scars that go unseen, unnoticed.
I’m reminded of a sermon that a former pastor of ours gave on suffering. He was sharing how Christ’s blood is like the healing balm for our wounds. However, once wounds heal, there are still scars. There is a reason they don’t completely disappear.
Our scars remind us of our pain and point us to our Healer.
Our scars are a way to share about our Redeemer and our Savior.
Our scars allow us to boast in Christ alone.
We want to cover up our scars, hide them so no one can see, pretend like nothing is there. The LORD wants us to wear them, as a reminder, as an opportunity to point people to Him and His restoring love. Our scars, our imperfections, our flaws, our hurt, our pain, are all used to bring us into a deeper relationship with the LORD and bring glory to His name.
So when I sit and listen to this woman who has scars all over her body tell of her horrific journey through life, I can’t help but wonder “How did you make it through? How did you survive?”
She says . . . In CHRIST alone.
Or when I sit before my friend who now has half a head of hair and a huge scar across her head and I wonder “How are you sitting up? How are you smiling?”
She says . . . In Christ alone.
Or when I think about my friend who misses her baby boy every single day. Who walks through life in grief and sorrow and I wonder “How are you still standing? How can you walk on? ”
She says . . . In CHRIST alone.
So whether your scars are on the outside or on the inside, let them be a reminder . . .
There is ONE who heals.
There is ONE who restores.
There is ONE who redeems.
There is ONE who makes all things new.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)