Ponderings with Doug – March 17, 2017

Carla cut her thumb in the kitchen. That was not a good thing. Carla keeps this church fed. It is not in any job description related to her church job. I think she has the gift of “keeping the church fed.” So the other night she was chopping onions and missed. She hit her thumb. Five stitches later, Carla is fine. Her thumb is in the throbbing stage by now. She will recover fully. Her stitches will be removed. I plan to look at the scar. I admit that I don’t like stitches stuff, so I’ll wait until there is full recovery. She will have a story with her scar.

Take just a second and look at your hands. If you are normal you have scars on your hands. Those scars each have a story. In my case each scar represents something dumb that I did.

Scars. We all have them. Some are emotional. Some are spiritual. Some are physical.

All are ugly.

Peter Monza had some serious scars after he underwent bypass surgery. “The docs really cut me up,” he said to the pastor who was visiting him in his hospital room. “Here, let me show you.” With that, Peter threw off his robe to reveal the staples in his chest.

His pastor winced. “I don’t need to see this,” he thought to himself. “I don’t want to see this.” But later, he realized that he really did need to see the scars of his church members. All of them. No matter how ugly.

“That’s what I am here for,” writes Pastor Timothy Merrill in his book Learning to Fall. “They need someone who will look with compassion upon the scars of their life, who will know and understand their hurts and the deep aches and pains of their souls.” People need someone with whom they can share their failings and their fallings.

The third chapter of the Genesis is often called “The Fall.” Soon after being placed in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve fall from the heights of obedience and innocence to the depths of disobedience and shame.

In the process, they get scarred.

We all have scars. Sometimes from bypass surgery, but more often from personal failures and falls. These emotional and spiritual scars are much harder for us to show. When we have been scarred by our own mistakes, we are not likely to say, “Here, let me show you.”

But scars do have value. They help us to understand our limits and gain valuable knowledge about ourselves.

We should not be surprised by our scars, we are following Jesus. His hands and feet are scarred for all eternity. By his “scars” we are healed.