Faith, life, relationships, Uncategorized, Writing
Comments 23

Scars of My Salvation

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.

To feel.

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?

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23 Comments

  1. I do have scars that I’ve spent a lot of time trying to hide. But as I get older, I wear them proudly. It seems a bit cliche’, but there is such freedom in just being everything that I am, all that God has placed in me.

    • Audra, I think we all try to hide them — some are easier than others. You’re right, there is freedom in accepting oneself, scars and all. I think that when we accept ourselves, it makes it so much easier to accept others with less judging, too. Everyone wins!

  2. I have scars on the outside and in. But I think I’m becoming comfortable with them. Knowing that no one comes very far in life unscathed. That is the being of peace I guess.

    • That unscathed myth is so pervasive, though. We tend to look at others and think that their lives are perfect–when really we’re all bearing scars.

  3. Beautiful post. I love the idea of having a scar that still hurts….that is still raw…for people need to see raw Christianity lived out in us.
    And..I LOVE the comment you left on my blog about my tortoise and tying a roomba on him to do my floors!!!

    • Ha! I love it that you have a tortoise for a pet– and that he’s into rearranging furniture!

      Perhaps if we accepted ourselves as walking wounded but healing in the hope of Jesus, more of us would be approachable and empathetic to others, instead of the church vs. the world mentality.

  4. Wow! Girl you can WRITE! I have scars … oodles of them. Mostly inner ones that no one else sees. I’ve tried to let some of them go recently. Dig them out of the deep ground they’ve been lying dormant in and release them in the light of an honest blog where I can say I hurt … but I cling to hope. And my mother e-mails me to tell me that I remember wrong. And that creates it’s own wound. But that isn’t really what you were asking for is it?

    • Beth,
      Yes, I think that is what I was asking! I “got saved” when I was a little girl. But as the years passed and life happened there were (and will be) times when I better understood this salvation, this vulnerability that is being loved by Jesus. After my accident last fall, all I’ve wanted to be is somewhere near normal again. And I’ve had to accept a new normal, at least for now. So working in the garden after having a broken leg and nearly dying was sort of a resurrection of my spirit!
      Wounds from those closest to us can cut the deepest, don’t you think? It is sometimes a long struggle to find your truth and hold it up to the truth of God’s word and listen to His voice. I will pray for you in that journey. I know it isn’t easy, my friend.
      Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts — it means so much!

  5. tpohlkotte says

    “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. To feel.” – – oh. this. speaks to all parts of me. thank you.

  6. This is so beautiful. The beauty of scars – that is really something worth writing about. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  7. lovely thoughts. so much to contemplate and ponder in this write. thanks for sharing your heart with us, the readers. what a blessing!
    steph

    • Hi Steph –
      Thanks for sharing and for reading my story. A story has little power if it isn’t shared — I’m glad to have shared it with you!

  8. Ah, yes…scars can either remind us of pain or of healing. I’m thankful you’ve determined to be reminded of both! This is an exquisite write, thank you!

  9. I have shivers running down my spine as I read your words. I am grateful for them, for your life, and for finding you over at Ann’s. Blessings on your blisters, friend.
    bernadette

    • Wonderful thought. I’ve always been kind of like Thomas, the one who needed to hold truth in his very hand. I have to remind myself that he wears these scars forever…

  10. dukeslee says

    Yes. I do have a scar. I have a scar, in the shape of a Y, on my left leg. Sadly, it had faded over the years. It has been a daily reminder to me of Yahweh, who spared my life in a head-on collision in 2009. When they stitched up my leg, the scar left was a Y. Now? I see Ys everywhere. … Our scars tell beautiful stories.

    I shared this the other day on my Facebook page:

    The skin on your body — and the skin on your soul — is a tablet.

    And the scars? The scars are the letters
    that make up the words
    that build the paragraphs
    that create the story of your life.

    The scars are proof that you were wounded, but also proof that you survived. And they are the truest, longest-lasting markers that nothing is beyond the redemption of the Healer.

    • I love that yours is a Y and that you used it as a reminder 🙂 One of my scars, where they cut in order to drill a couple of screws into my leg bone healed up in a funny way that looks like a lady dancing. My oldest girl pointed that out — your scar is a dancing lady — and we had a good laugh at what a terrible dancer I am, but I dance anyway. I do want my scars, and indeed my life, messed up as it has been, to be a tablet that tells of God’s grace, his healing, his strength that held me together. I love the poem.

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