I have a blister on my right hand.
It’s a round and angry scarlet wound. I hope it leaves a mark. I want to remember how it got there, remember the day, the very hour of the day, the slant of the sun and the brush of the spring wind across my hair.
I want to recall without the haze of time casting gauzy skirts across my memory like a careless dancer.
I need to hold fast to that moment that I was born again.
A pregnancy season rubs its memorial into skin stretched tight over full, round belly – the marks that remain, shiny and white-pink tell the story of life. Unsightly to some, they mark the birth of life, the beginning of something utterly profound and mysterious. They mark motherhood and tell a tale of hope and future.
Other scars–and I have them–mark the passage of different stories.
Tales of horror and healing, of late night wreckage scattered on black highway, of swirling lights flashing red and blue, of crying children and a mother who cannot hold them.
Tales of thrumming helicopter blades and the glimmer of a precision blade held fast in a skilled hand, of thread and staples that hold life together when it seems to be coming apart like a fragile bit of lace.
But this blister, this place rubbed raw is a wound that must be kept with its sisters scarring this body of mine. This vessel of growing and birthing and suffering and surviving.
This small planet of pain I wear on my hand is proof that I made it this far.
It came from gardening without gloves.
Warmth popped into a March day like a dear old friend for tea and begged me out to the garden. I had a physical therapy appointment scheduled, but I cancelled and set up an altogether different therapy regimen for the day. Instead of the leg workout, I’d walk across the yard several times. Instead of the ab workout, I’d scrape rake tines over stubborn weeds and dry clumps of leaves and form piles.
I needed to see the familiar green spikes of the daffodil, the bare ruby-colored nubs of peonies pushing through.
I needed life in the version that only a Northwest spring could deliver.
So I raked and yanked and worked. I lived. I live.
And in the cooling air of late afternoon, when the sun began to look sleepy as it hung over the tops of the pines, my hand throbbed. It beat with the pulse of a heart that has yet to stop.
The blister pounded, sore and yelled in a silent voice: this is what it means to be born again.
To taste and know certain death but instead be gifted with life, with more, with pulse-pounding joy and interminable sorrow, with freedom and movement and prayer and the love of good people.
This is fellowship, this blistering wound of a life lived raw and real and full.
I want a scar from the day I was born again.
Do you have scars like this? Wounds from salvation’s touch? Do you embrace them or hide them? Do you tell their story?