Friday, January 20, 2006


This is my home about this time last year. I was standing across the street, looking at the back yard. I remember thinking I'd take this photo to see how long it would take for the trees to fill out and give me complete privacy in my backyard.

As I say, that was about a year ago.

But a few things have changed.

Hurricane Wilma came and took the trees away.

The roof was badly damaged.

I remember thinking right after Wilma left that we'd been lucky. A few trees were gone. A few roof tiles. It was nothing -- especially compared to our neighbors in New Orleans, Mississippi and elsewhere.

Here's the same view, taken earlier this week. The roof repair is almost finished. The backyard is now in full view of the street in the back.

Everywhere I go, there seem to be scars of Wilma.

There are "blue roofs" -- patched with temporary sheeting.

Look off the Interstate, and you may see a sign still bent from the force of a powerful wind.

Drive into a community, and there may be a line of trees still fallen, uprooted from the ground.

It takes a while for wounds to heal.

I think it is good for scars to remain for a long time. It reminds us of how fragile our lives are. It keeps us from forgetting too quickly the sufferings of our community.

I have a scar on my hand. It is an old knife wound. Most people are too polite to ask about it -- but sometimes a young person who isn't bothered with meaningless inhibitions will ask. I hem and haw and talk mysteriously about it being a knife wound. "It happened about 3 AM one Friday night in a Pizza Hut back when I was in college, when I was living a different sort of lifestyle than I do today."

I leave it at that and let their minds wander.

Truth is, I was managing the restaurant and there was only one other person with me. We were cleaning up -- well, mostly we were fooling around. For some reason we started sword fighting. Yep, with knives. He cut my hand and we laughed. I remember saying, "You know, that was a dumb thing for us to do." We laughed some more, got into a car and drove to the hospital for some stitches.

The scar reminds me not to be stupid.

My sister died when she was 7 years old. She would have been 55 years old this year. When my Dad was in the hospital and he knew he was about to die, he talked about her. You could tell the wounds had healed, but the scars remained. Even though the pain was gone, the scars on my father's soul reminded him of the love he had for that child.

It occurs to me that we have a permanently scarred God.

When Christ rose from the dead, Thomas asked for hard evidence, and he got it. Thomas saw the hole in the Lord's side where a spear had pierced. He saw the nail prints on his hands.

Remember the movie, The Passion? In my mind the most powerful scene was the Resurrection. Christ is cleaned and well groomed. He stands up, and you can see through his hand.

I would imagine that Christ could just as easily have been Resurrected without the scars.

But the scars remain, and I believe they are there by devine choice.

Christ cannot do anything without seeing those scars. He reaches out for us, and the scars are there. He embraces us, and the scars are there. He points to us in judgment, and the scars are there.

They remind Him, and us, of how extreme is His love for us.


Blogger ~**Dawn**~ said...

i read somewhere once that we need to consider scars--both visible & hidden--not only as reminders, but as badges of honor: lessons learned, sacrifices made, difficult moments overcome. our scar remind us not only where we've been, but that we have come out the other side...tucked safely in the scarred hands of our Lord.

8:04 AM  
Blogger HeyJules said...

That was the first post I read this morning and I bet it will be the best thing I read all day.

What a wonderfully original way to think about things...

8:49 AM  
Blogger annie said...

I came because of Jules' mention of this post on her blog. There is a CD called Broken, by Cynthia Clawson with a song that says something like "how beautiful are the scars where love is healing me".

So may times, it is too easy to forget the beauty of those scars. Thanks for reminding me.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Lorna said...

this is a wonderful post. spoke to my heart. and helped me understand the pupose of some wounds and scars.

thank you

11:33 AM  

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