Monday, August 29, 2005

Scars

Read through the comments on this one. People have written some good things and it is worth hearing thier thoughts also.


I have fair skin. In fact, some of my more melanin blessed friends seem to think I may be slightly albino (thank you Eddie). It must be the Irish, Scottish, French, German, British blood that gives me the light skin, blonde hair, blue green eyes. Face it people I am about as WASPy as you can get.

So I have the kind of skin that guarantees you will be bright red if you spend any significant amount of time in the sun. It is also the type of skin that guarantees I will have a scar from any type of cut, burn, wound I happen to receive.

I wondered why people actually get scars, why the skin just doesn’t grow back as it was before. The cliff notes version is that when a burn, scrape, cut, wound is deep enough, the body works quickly to try and repair itself. In doing so it uses, maybe not the best materials, but the most efficient for the circumstances. Dense and thick, it is usually paler than the surrounding tissue because it is poorly supplied with blood, and although it structurally replaces destroyed tissue, it cannot perform the functions of the missing tissue. The human body amazes me in that it can repair horrible injuries, it can compensate when extreme things happen to it and while it may not be exactly the same as it was before it will survive and continue on.

In fact, I have quite a collection of scars. Many from a childhood of being the neighborhood tomboy who ran with all the boys. I have scars from climbing trees, playing war, all kinds of sports (kickball, football, tag, hide and seek, and any other game we considered sport). Then there were the scars from my chronic clumsiness. I fall down, I run into things, I accidentally cut myself, scrape myself, pretty much if it falls under the category of clumsy I have done it, and done it well and many times.

From all these adventures I have built up a timeline of sorts on my body. I have stories and memories that go with each scar. Like the one where I was trying to learn how to surf as a kid and ran into a wooden piling in the ocean and took a chunk out of my shin. Or the time when my sisters threw a stick at a woodpile directly behind where I was standing and I happened to turn my face into the stick. Then there's the scar from the traumatic removal of cysta. Stories from my past, some funny, some scary, some just a happy or painful memory.

We all have these scars; we all have stories for each one. They are a timeline of our lives, marking stories. They chronicle who we are, where we’ve been, and what we’ve done.

But then, there are other scars, scars that aren’t left by a cut or a scrape. These scars might not be visible to another person, at least not visible by sight alone. The scars are left from times when we have been hurt emotionally or when we have fallen into bondage to sin. Scars from when our heart has been pierced, or torn, or even ripped to shreds. Scars from where we wore chains of bondage to different things in our life: addiction, control, pride, self image. These scars aren’t visible as a line on our heart or rings on our wrists. But they are visible in our actions, our fears, our emotions, our relationships. There is a time line with these scars also. And some wounds are scarred over and over again.

These scars also tell a story. If we thought and remembered only what caused the scars then the stories would be painful, they would be a haunting memory we would carry with us our entire life. But each story has a common ending, an ending that makes the stories worthwhile, that makes the scars worthwhile and makes them a treasured part of who we are.

See, the story of each of these scars is one of victory. Victory that we came through the pain, the hurt, the bondage. Victory that those things were conquered in our life. Yes, there was pain, there was hurt. And the scars will always be there, they will never go away. And like a physical scar there are consequences, there was a price paid and something given up. Remember with a physical scar the scar structurally replaces destroyed tissue, but it cannot perform the functions of the missing tissue. Likewise in an emotional scar or one of bondage, there are areas of weakness, areas of temptation, but the pain is gone, the bondage is gone. Victory has come.

There is someone else who knows the pain of scars, both physical and emotional. Christ’s body was subjected to tremendous torture. His back was whipped, His head gouged, His hands and feet penetrated by spikes, His side pierced. His physical body was horribly scarred from all of these traumatic punishments. Each a reminder of the anger and unfairness aimed at Him. He also suffered emotional scars: denied by His disciples, hated by His people, falsely accused, separated from God. Christ carries scars from all of these. But his scars symbolize a victory also. The victory of His life, the victory of conquering death, but most important the victory of our lives. Christ’s scars represent His victory of overcoming our sin, our separation, our death. Christ’s scars are our victory.

So when I look at scars, both visible and not, I don’t see failures, pain, or bad memories, I see victory. Not of my own doing, but of God and his freedom, his grace, the price he paid so long ago that allows us to claim victory in Him. To see past the pain, the wound, the scar, to see the life that comes afterward and continues.

There is a hymn that our church’s worship team reworked. I really like the song and there is one verse in particular that seems to touch me every time we sing it. When I think of scars, when I think of bondage, when I think of the victory of our freedom these words haunt me.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast-bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Amazing love! How can it be
that Thou, my God, would die for me?

31 Comments:

Blogger Eric Stacey said...

I remember seeing a Star Trek movie-(I'm no trekkie)-where Spock's brother in law one by one is taking away everyone's most painful event in each person's life-Dr. McCoy's father's death, and so on-anyway, I remember Capt. Kirk saying " I need my pain", and I always remembered that-I feel that way too-I need my pain, my scars in my life-maybe I turned right when I should have turned left, but those events made me who I am-I have scars, and they are reminders of who I am-maybe what I have done wrong, and I don't really want them to go away

8/29/2005 5:55 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Scars. I have many.

Victories. Just as many.

For some reason, I never put them both together.

8/29/2005 7:29 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Ben - well now you have.

8/29/2005 7:33 PM  
Blogger amelia said...

Beautifully written! Thanks for stopping by my site today. I am enjoying reading your thoughts!

8/29/2005 9:41 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

KT, I love how your mind works. The most horrible thing I ever did in my life is also the thing that taught me the most about myself. I deeply regret the actions that I took but I'm so grateful for the knowledge that I learned. So how do I give up one when I would have to take back the other?

8/30/2005 2:03 AM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

The Lord can use friends as a healing salve on our scars.

You are that kind of friend, K-T.

Thanks for your post. It was very comforting and true.

8/30/2005 7:34 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Good Morning...

Back.

(Your last comment on my site made my day...) :)



To All of Katie's readers: THAT KATIE IS SO COOL. But then I guess you know that...

8/30/2005 8:35 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Ahh shucks, now you've made my day. Thanks my friend.

8/30/2005 8:40 AM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

I'm in the Katie is SO cool club.

Yep, sure am.

8/30/2005 9:18 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Thanks AM, my coolness pales in comparison to ALL my cool friends.

8/30/2005 9:26 AM  
Blogger Eddo said...

Wonderful KT, Just plain wonderful.

Also, this post reminds me of that song, Scars by Papa Roach... until the end and thankfully you put amazing love into my head which is a much better song.

...in all I do, I honor you.

8/30/2005 9:44 AM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

Jubal needs to record that one next. Hint, hint.

8/30/2005 9:51 AM  
Blogger Sydney said...

Thanks you Katie...

I enjoy your posts so much. Encouraging, humourous and sobering. Without pain I can't grow and I know this... but I still hate going through the process of receiving the scars... but doesn't victory just taste so sweet!......Amazing love....How can it be..........

8/30/2005 9:56 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Thanks Eddo and Syd, the fact that this touches other people just means I expressed the truth in a good way (that is always better than screwing it up - which I have been known to do on a few occasions).

8/30/2005 10:15 AM  
Blogger Cav said...

I have always loved that song.

Good post Katie. This post can help people!

8/30/2005 10:59 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Thanks Cav, I hope it can, this truth helped me at different times.

BTW - You are AMAZING girl. I'm going back through some of your posts and you blow me away. I never knew such a STUD lived so close. :)

8/30/2005 11:01 AM  
Blogger jes said...

katie, this post is so appropriate for me, particularly today. at 12:30 i am meeting with a woman from my church to discuss the possibility of my involvement in a special group that ministers to women who have suffered from past sexual abuse in their lives (as a child or an adult). your post, and the thought of my impending meeting, is giving my heart a run for its money. except it aches on the left side of my chest, not the right.

wait. is the heart on the left or right side? geez. i need to take an anatomy class.

8/30/2005 12:19 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Found my way here via little Rebekah's page (from one of your posts) and thought I would check things out. I will be back as I enjoyed this post!

God bless and have a Christ filled day!

8/30/2005 12:23 PM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

Left, Jes. The anatomy class might have been helpful for your dinner topic discussed on yesterday's post as well.

8/30/2005 12:23 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Holy Smokes Katie.

Duede Seriously... This is a great post on way too many levels. I am a tremendously scarred man.. on all levels. I have hospital wings named after me because of time spent... more than that I have the emotional pain I have gone through (note the word GONE)that really shows me where and HOW God molded me to become the man I am today.

Wow WOW this is so good I almost read all of it!

;-)

And I will record Amazing Love for all of you guys...

8/30/2005 1:37 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Steve - just think of the victory that God gets to claim because of your scars. What the world sees as broken or damaged God praises as moments that His child was faithful, was humble, was honest. He gets to say look at My faithful servant, look at the areas he let Me heal him. Look at My child, who returns to Me, who gives Me his heart to heal and make new. The world may see his scars and think He is broken but I know He is whole, because I see his heart.

Wow, our God is so good. This is making me choke up, but i have more to say.

God says that our flesh is dead, our bodies will one day be no more, the scars will be gone - just a faded memory of our mortality, we will be new in Him, whole in Him, we will have a body free from the marks of this world, free from the sin that plagued us. Our body will be like His Son's. What a promise we have in that.

This verse kept running through my mind as I typed this:

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you."

2 Cor 4:7-12

8/30/2005 1:47 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Wow Katie. Very poignant and thought provoking. Thank you for the wonderful gift of your writings. :)

8/30/2005 2:19 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Thanks Jim, it's all just words without the underlying truth of God. I appreciate the encouragement and am just glad that someone wants to read it.

8/30/2005 2:21 PM  
Blogger youngertwin said...

sorry about throwing the stick at you, i still cant believe i threw it that far.

BTW- i got recalled to FEMA monday and in just 3 hrs of receiving calls the stories are heartbreaking to hear so if you get a chance say a quick prayer for those affected (or is it effected?) by the hurricane.

8/30/2005 2:43 PM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

This has been a very thought-provoking day.

The other day, Larry King had Mega-Church Pastors on his program. Larry asked Greg Laurie if some people use Christ as a crutch when they are going to difficult times. Greg responded, "He's not a crutch to me, Larry. He's a whole hospital."

He is truly the Great Physician, inside and out.

8/30/2005 2:44 PM  
Blogger steve said...

i really like my friends

8/30/2005 2:45 PM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

Me too, Jubal, Me too.

Back in March I was praying and crying because I so wanted to have more friends. Specifically Christian friends.

I have been blessed beyond belief.

What an answer to prayer. God works in mysterious ways indeed.

8/30/2005 2:52 PM  
Blogger steve said...

What I love most is the true hearts of you guys. So much laughter and so much God! What a great balance.

God is good!!!!


(i think i just had a moment)

8/30/2005 3:26 PM  
Blogger jes said...

younger twin,

i have been praying for them intermittently today, and will continue to. i hope that you are lifting them up, as well. God loves to hear your beautiful voice.

8/30/2005 3:34 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

YT - Congrats on the job - I will continue to pray for each person affected by the hurricane and for you as you deal with them and their stories.

8/30/2005 4:04 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

I have several scars...mostly internal ones though, the emotional kind. Some days they can get the better of me, while other days I don't even know they are there.

God is so amazing that He can heal us and shape us and form us through our various situations. Even though it is painful, it helps us to grow.n Hope that made sense.

8/30/2005 7:43 PM  

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