When we are wounded, the healing process often leaves a scar. Some scars are visible. Others are not.
I have scars all over my body. I was what I like to refer to as “an adventuresome child”. I have scarred knees from sliding into base while playing kickball on gravel. I fell out of trees and wrecked motorcycles. I ran through briar brambles and got poked with sticks. I wouldn’t trade a single scar for a childhood with less freedom to roam and explore.
Sadly, I’ve grown into a clutzy adult. And I can’t be trusted with sharp objects like knives and scissors because inevitably I will cut myself. I have a permanent scar on my knuckle from my hairdressing days, and generally cut it in the same spot every once in a while when I cut the hair of family and friends. In fact, my friend Patti once bought me a t-shirt that read “Runs With Scissors”!
While I’ve never been thrilled with the appearance of multiple scars, I’ve never been obsessed with them or considered trying to “shrink” them. Most of them have a story attached. Some of them include lessons I’ve learned.
And then of course, some of us, get scars in the way of stretch marks from bringing forth new life. I couldn’t begin to tell you the massive amounts of those I have. No one sees them, but I wear those with honor. I carry scars from surgeries as well. Those, also, are just bits and pieces of my life.
Like most people, I have carried emotional scars from my past as well. Those are the ones that others don’t readily see. Those are the emotional badges of the pain I have endured. What I have learned though is that I had the power to heal those scars. I had the choice of remaining a victim by holding onto those wounds or I could heal them by becoming a victor and moving on with my life. When I held onto them, I could not heal…they were festering sores. Healing emotional scars takes time and forgiveness. It takes a desire to want to move on. Sure, there might be a few scars, but I wear them proudly. Maybe the scars just prove that I have lived. Most importantly, I have endured.
When I was out walking this past weekend, I noticed the visible scars along the trunk of this tree. It had outgrown around the barbed wire fence that housed it. The property owner must have seen the damage caused to the tree. He rerouted the fence to the back side of the tree, and placed a board between them so that the wire would never again cut into the flesh of the tree.
How gracious of this landowner to see what he was doing to this tree and to make amends to prevent further damage. It makes me wonder if we realize the restrictions we put on others. Do we realize when we are holding someone back, hurting them, or scarring them in ways that might not be visible to the naked eye? How often do we think about how our choices affect those around us? Even when we do not intend harm, how truly innocent are we?