I carry scars

You don’t get to your 40s without picking up some scars along the way.  In my case, I’m particularly aware of three examples of physically scarring. First of all, when I was a kid, we went to visit my uncle and auntie in Gloucester. They had a pet dog but it was a little nervous, it had been taunted by local youths quite a lot and when I went to stroke it, it got unnerved and bit on my wrist, I made the mistake of trying to pull back and the result was a nasty wound leading to an urgent hospital visit.  You can still see the scar on my wrist today. 

Later as a student, at a CU house party, I took a run down a corridor, missed that steps went down and so hit my head on the top of a door post. More blood and another unexpected hospital trip for stitches resulted. The hair doesn’t grow back on that bit of my head due to the scarring and so it becomes  noticeable when I opt for a lockdown close hair cut with the clippers.

The other scars I have affect my eyes. As mentioned before, I had surgery as a teenager but there was already scarring on the lens when I had the cornea graft for my right eye.

Those physical scars are there acting as permanent reminders to me. They are permanent reminders of dramatic events in my life that provide for good story telling. I can even look back at past events with a little bit of humour.  They also act as warning signs.  Scars remind us that somethings are dangerous so that we should not run down corridors, we should be careful when approaching animals we don’t know, we shouldn’t stick our hands onto hot stoves etc.  Scars warn.

But scars are also a comforting sign too.  They remind me I survived.  It wasn’t long after my escapade with the dog that a serious of horrific incidents resulting in children being severely mauled that the Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced.  I was bitten by a dog that was in fact gentle rather than mauled by a fighting dog.  Whilst at the hospital in Oswestry, the nurse managed to cut herself whilst treating the wound so both of us had to have HIV tests. They came back negative. Imagien how different life could have been,  Today, thanks to surgery I have a level of eyesight that enables me to get on with day to day life.

Recently, I’ve been talking about emotional wounds. Those wounds leave scars too.  Many of us can testify that we carry emotional scars.  The wounds have pretty much closed up and healed but the evidence has still remained and there are days, as with physical scars when they irritate and bother us.  Those scars also serve as warnings and reminders. They warn against the danger of sin as we realise where we put ourselves into unhealthy situations.  But they also remind us of God’s grace to us. He never left us alone even during the darkest days of suffering and he brought us safely through.

Our scars are a sign
Of grace in our lives
And Father, how You brought us through
When deep were the wounds
And dark was the night
The promise of Your love, You proved
Now every battle still to come
Let this be our song

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

Weeping may come, remain for a night
But joy will paint the morning sky
You’re there in the fast
You’re there in the feast
Your faithfulness will always shine
Now every blessing still to come
Let this be our song

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

You lead us through battles (You lead us through battles)
You lead us to blessing (You lead us to blessing)
And You make us fruitful (You make us fruitful)
In the land of our suffering, God
And it is well, it is well with my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul
I trust Your ways (I trust Your ways)
I trust Your name (I trust Your name)
And it is well, it is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul, my soul[1]


[1] Matt Redman, It is well with my soul, © 2015 sixsteps Music / worshiptogether.com Songs / Said And Done Music (ASCAP) (Admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com) / Thankyou Music (PRS) (admin. worldwide at CapitolCMGPublishing.com, excluding Europe, which is admin. by IntegrityMusic.com) // Chorus of “It Is Well With My Soul” Traditional Hymn, Public Domain / Words by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873; Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1876

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