July 24, 2016
The Beauty of Pain and Scars
By Peggy Toney Horton
Drying off after a shower, I spied a scar on the inside of my left foot. I’m surprised that’s still there, I thought. Should have faded by now.
I smiled as I recalled the hot summer day long ago when a friend and I were splashing around in the cool, swirling waters of a shallow creek. Our fun was interrupted suddenly when I screamed in pain.
I had stepped on either a sharp rock or a piece of glass. My foot stung like crazy and started bleeding immediately. My friend held my hand, steadying me as I struggled to walk out of the water and toward home without putting weight on that part of my foot. Every step was painful and blood seemed to be coming out of the wound awfully fast.
When she saw my foot and all the blood, my mother was quite upset at first, but fortunately for children, mothers wear many hats, so, donning her nurse’s cap, she went right to work and, in no time, had stopped the bleeding and patched me up almost like new – except for a small scar that would remain on my foot for the rest of my life.
That was not the last scar I got in my lifetime. There were many – both physical and emotional: physical scars from a variety of cuts and scrapes, emotional scars from missed opportunities, lost loved ones and disappointments of all kinds.
We all have scars.
They tell the world we’ve lived. A body or mind without scars means you never took any chances, never learned any lessons.
In order to have a scar, we must first have pain. Pain corrects. You put your hand on a hot stove and get a message that says, "it's hot" that goes to your brain; your brain says, "move your hand" and you move it, you don't have to think about it. It moves instantly. Lesson learned! You never put your hand on a hot stove again!
Why does God allow us to live in a world that is cursed with pain? Because what we call a curse is in fact a blessing. The worst thing God could do is let us live in a world with no pain because it is pain that tells us something is wrong that needs to be corrected.
But what does it say to us when we see the wounds on the hands of Jesus? It says, not only has He suffered and therefore, understands how we feel, but also, that He willingly identified with our humanity that He might take that load and share it with us. He didn't have to suffer this way. He chose to do so.
How could we ever think about our own scars without remembering the nail-scarred hands and feet of Jesus – the gaping wound in his side?
Christ could easily have erased those scars from His body. He could have removed all the marks of His suffering when He rose from the grave.
But He did not.
Instead, they remain as eternal reminders that He cares about our pain and suffering.
Peggy Toney Horton lives at Nitro and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
©Charleston Gazette-Mail - July 24, 2016