I still have them.
Painful reminders of my hurts. Throbbing echoes of hurts I caused.
And they don't go away.
Heal me, I plead.
And God hears.
The bleeding stops, the wound closes--
But the scar remains.
Evidence of the hurt. Proof of the guilt.
Why doesn't it all go away?
I ask God: Why doesn't healing come with forgetting?
And God says: This is who you are.
Every hit you've taken, every blow you've given. They are part of you now.
Remember, He says. Remember your nature. Remember your origin:
From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness--only wounds and welts and open sores.--Isaiah 1:6
My scars. Who I am. What I have done. What has been done to me.
Nobody gets to leave them behind his side of heaven. Nobody.
Even Christ wore His scars.
He stood in that room with His best friends, bright in His resurrected body. Alive again. Clean, victorious, and healed.
But those hands. That side.
Put your finger here. See my hands.--John 20:27
Still there. All the places of His own mortal wounding. Not smoothed over, not vanished beyond memory. Not comfortable.
But visible, both to Him and anyone who looked close enough.
His wounds, like ours, remained with Him.
Not for re-opening, but as witness.
Christ's wounds bore witness to His perfection, His godhead.
My wounds bear witness to Christ in me.
My scars still stand ready to accuse, but they can also proclaim victory.
Look at me, they say.
I have healed. I stand. I live.
I have known pain. I have inflicted it. See this ugliness? This is what it looks like.
Don't look away. You have them, too.
But this is the difference.
Because of Christ, I will not die from them.