“We will just make a little incision this way, and will stitch it that way, and it will leave just a little scar. Will that be okay?”
“Doc, have you looked at my head?”
This conversation actually took place a few months ago between Ed and the dermatologist who took a questionable spot off his head. The spot ended up being nothing to worry about, but Ed and I still laugh about the doctor’s concern about leaving another scar on Ed’s bald head. There are plenty more to keep it company!
If you live long enough, you are going to have scars. Some come from accidents, some from surgery, and some (perhaps the worst kind) leave no visible marks at all, but they remain, just the same.
Often, people compare scars. The movie “Jaws” came out when I was a kid, probably about ten or eleven years old. One of the lighter scenes has three of the main characters comparing scars, with Police Chief Brody feeling wimpy, because all he has is an appendectomy scar.
Some people are embarrassed by their scars. In 1968, my mother was riding a motorcycle with a friend when they were hit by a car. Her knee cap was shattered, and the surgeon literally pieced it back together, like a jigsaw puzzle. The result of the accident and subsequent surgery was a really nasty looking scar. For years, Mom would never wear shorts out in public because she was embarrassed by that scar.
Scars can be reminders of horrific events, but they can also be reminders of God’s grace. It just depends on how you choose to view your scars.
I have a scar on my lower abdomen which could be a reminder of a doctor who jumped the gun, inducing labor that resulted in a caesarian section, or it can be a reminder of that wonderful day, 28 years ago, when I became a mama for the first time. Guess how I see it?
It was nearly a year ago, but I can remember it like it was a minute ago. Walking down the driveway of our old house, toward my car parked on the street. That moment of confusion when I was bumped from behind. Confusion turning to terror as I was bumped again and realized I was going under my son’s car, and he didn’t know I was there! I did the only thing I could do, I cried out “Jesus, help me! Jesus help me!” I don’t really know if the cry was out loud, or in my head, but thankfully, the Lord can hear our thoughts!
I remember Ed yelling “Stop!” and then in response to something that I did not hear, “Your mother!” When he got to the back of the car, I remember telling him to “get it off me”. You see, the tire had started to roll over me and had already pushed out some of what was in my stomach.
I remember the car pulling forward, and taking that first deep breath, reassuring myself that my ribs and lungs were still intact. There was the sound of my son crying, and my daughter screaming. Ed telling me not to move, and me telling him that I really needed to get off my shoulder because it felt like it was on fire and my knee did too. Intellectually, I understood why he didn’t want me to move, but still…
I never did convince the paramedics that the car had actually run over me, and the ER nurse wasn’t convinced either until he saw the tire marks on my skin. A CT scan and X-ray revealed neither broken bones, nor any internal injuries. No one could believe that I wasn’t hurt a lot worse. What I did have was some road rash on my left knee and shoulder and deep tissue bruising. I had something else too. I had the peace of knowing that in a dark, scary moment in my life, I had called out to my Lord, and He heard me. He covered me with his hand and brought me out of that “valley of the shadow of death”.
The road rash healed quickly, but the tissue bruising took substantially longer to heal.
There was some concern about my left knee, but an MRI just revealed arthritis. It’s more of an irritant than any thing else, because it will buckle at random times.
The other day, Ed commented that all that visibly remains of the whole ordeal is a small scar on my shoulder. I thought about telling him that I probably wouldn’t even have that, if he had left me get up when I wanted to, but I doubt that he would have seen the humor in it.
So yes, I have a scar on my shoulder. When I see that scar, I could choose to think about the terror of going under that car, but I choose to use it as a reminder of a time (among many others) when God revealed himself to me.
How do you see your scars?