Monday, March 22, 2021

Wholeness: Scars

They say time heals all wounds, yet some people seem to go years and sometimes even decades without finding wholeness. Maybe the reason they are not healing is that they are still trying to go back to the person they once were before the trauma, and they expect it to come painlessly. Maybe, they confuse healing with restoration. Also, anyone who has had surgery can attest, healing is often a very painful process. Hence, our tendency to avoid it. However, Christ still bore the scars of his excruciating crucifixion after the resurrection. (John 20:26-27) A man who cleansed lepers surely could have restored himself scar-free if he really wanted. Yet, maybe there is a lesson in this for more than just Thomas.

Yes, this world can wound you, that's a constant for everyone. If we respond to them negatively, they can turn necrotic, which keeps the wound from healing properly. Which only magnifies and prolongs our misery. Ultimately, leading us down an all-encompassing path of protecting our feelings. Often, leading us to be just as hurtful as the people who wounded us. Whether it's a way of keeping people at arm's length as a defense mechanism; or just taking pleasure in using and abusing people. The irony of it all, by repeating the actions of our abusers, we only rationalize their behavior and ultimately invalidate our bitterness over the whole thing. Do you really want to be that person?

Yet, if we respond faithfully, and face said pain, we can experience grace from said wounds. While scars remain after the healing process, those scars transform us into something slightly different from before. After all, can we truly have empathy for others if we haven't experienced pain as well as grace? Can we truly appreciate loving kindness if we haven't experienced bitter hatred as well? So we in turn can become an instrument of grace for others via that change.

So as you can see, our scars can define us as much as our DNA does. The question is, will it define us in a Christ-like graceful way. Or will it define us in a devil-like destructive way?

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself (Jesus) likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For clearly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brothers so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.-Hebrews 2:14-18

Christ has scars; they are a big part of his identity. So as disciples of Christ, we should have scars as well. So by shunning our pain we in turn are only robbing ourselves of our identity in Christ, as well as the grace that comes with it. One must wonder, is this not part of the reason so many don't know what their purpose is. They have faced their wounds with fear instead of faith. So they are naturally suffering necrosis of the heart that keeps us from experiencing true wholeness.

scars in the shape of wings

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