A man was put in this world to do something.”
–Ernest Haycox (Rim of the Desert)
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
–John 10:10 (NLT)
“God will look us over not for medals, or diplomas, or degrees, but for scars.”
I remember a friend from way back when I was in school. He went to our church and we were good friends. He had a scar on his face and I asked him what happened? He simply said, “a fence ran into him.” Well, life has a way of throwing “fences” at us. Scars may come our way through accidents, or some of them may be earned.
If you’re carrying a scar that means something happened to you. It may mean that you did something dumb, didn’t react in time, or in the midst of battle you were injured. If you have a scar it might mean that you were injured, defeated and have refused to get back in the fight. Or it may mean that you were attacked, were wounded, but you’re back in the fight. Remember, scars are not all physical. They may be mental, emotional, and even spiritual.
I recently read the following about Scott Hamilton. You may know some of his story, of his bouts with cancer and of course his gold medal at the Winter Olympics in 1984. In an interview he said, “I start my day by looking at the way the sun illuminates my scars, because they’re most vivid in natural light. To me, they’re badges of honor.” In speaking of the biggest scar he says, “it represents healing, not illness.”
Scars can be a unifying force. They show a common bond in a common fight. When I taught the leadership portion of my Bible class on “Worldviews”, I used the speech by Henry V.
“He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day.
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile….”
A scar is a common factor among soldiers. Here is the King saying that on this day whomever fights with him for their country whether they be royalty or commoner with be brothers and one day a year they will show the scars they earned in fighting the enemy.
Some use their scars as an excuse. Others use them to show off. Those who understand the value of scars, will not brag, will not use them to excuse their actions, but will look at them with honor. Jesus showed his scars to Thomas, not to brag, but to win him back to the Kingdom. Perhaps the question is, how do you treat your scars?