We all have scars, don’t we? Some of us are really proud of our scars. And some of us are ashamed.
Pain brings us together. When we see someone else that has gone through our pain, it’s powerful. When you realize someone else has been affected by cancer, divorce, or losing a loved one, it makes your pain relatable. They know a little bit of how you feel. Eating at Denny’s and living to tell the tale doesn’t have the same effect. There is something powerful about us standing together saying, “Yeah, I’ve been through that type of hurt before.”
Scars are wounds filled in with living flesh.
Scars are voids overcome with life, and they bear witness that God can raise to life again those who have been pierced.
The Bible tells the story of a man named Thomas, who lost his teacher. Evil men killed him, and Thomas left everyone he knew to hide and weep. It seemed that his future, his joy, and all of his hope had been taken away from him. Instead of joining others who felt the same loss, Thomas chose to hurt on his own, suffer on his own, and deal with it on his own. He let his pain lead him away.
When his friends found him they perused him in his pain and brought him hope. “We have seen the Lord!” they said. But Thomas would not believe. “There is no hope in times like this,” he must have thought. It would take for more than another man’s word to lift him out of this loneliness.
He would need to see scars.
Soon Thomas was meeting with his friends again when Jesus walked in to the room. Jesus said, “Peace be with you” and invited Thomas to come, feel the wounds on his wrists and touch the open gash in his side. Suddenly Thomas’s pain was transformed. The scars bore witness that God raises to life again those who have been pierced.
Being comforted doesn’t come in loneliness. It cannot come when we isolate ourselves from others and bury ourselves in our pain. Comfort cannot come when we let go of our restraints and eat whatever we want, sleep with whomever we want, drink whatever we want, or worse. Comfort comes only when we draw close to other human beings who will walk through tragedy with us and remind us that God raises to life again those who have been pierced.
We must share our hurts with others. Hiding is suicidal.
Jesus said, “Confess your sins to each other….so that you may be healed.”
Sometimes our sin separates us, not because we have wronged someone else, but because we are ashamed.
Sometimes the biggest barrier between us and others is simply our own self image.
We mourn who we are and dwell in the state of mourning until it becomes our permanent home.
Even if you have scars all over your body, even if you are so ashamed of who you are and what you’ve done, Jesus says learn from your scars. Teach others from your scars.
Don’t dwell on how you could be different but live how you could be different.