Ever wonder why scars impress us? Me, too. To me a scar is more like a medal; representing bravery, endurance and survival. Some scars could even surpass the Purple Heart, I suppose. At least in the eyes of the one who owns the scar.
Whenever I look at the scars I have, I am reminded of the event; the story behind it; perhaps what I was wearing, what I said, who else was involved. And, of course, did I learn something from it? Was it that kind of scar? A learning scar? Or was it a choice scar? Or a life-sustaining scar?
If I had more visible physical scars, I would expect there to be questions. I mean, come on, people see. They’re curious. Hopefully I could answer their questions in a positive, teaching sense and, in doing so, it would be a growing experience for me as well.
My first child was born without all of his legs. My husband and I made the choice not to hide what he lacked. We did not keep him swaddled in a blanket, leaving people to wonder. In the summer he wore ‘cool’ attire like everyone else. People would either stare or they would inquire. I understood the stares. I appreciated the inquiries.
Being given the opportunity to answer questions about a scar gives me a chance to acknowledge and admit that an event happened. Hopefully you will validate me so next time when a question is asked, I will still feel free to answer honestly and truthfully, without shame.
Asking about scars, in a loving, graceful way, opens a little spillway for emotions and feelings that are most likely at flood-threatening levels. Releasing a little bit here and there is so much healthier than sending the whole of it rushing downstream because the dam broke. White water rapids would appear as puddles left by the lawn sprinklers in comparison!
And old scars. They’re just as fascinating as a fresh one. Maybe a little faded. Their stories richer because of the wisdom that we have acquired since the scar’s appearance.
But open, unhealed wounds…
Open wounds tend to scare us; repulse us. We look away. We walk away. We tell our children to shush when they begin to ask questions.
And if it’s my unhealed wound….well, I’m embarrassed as well. I try to hide it and camouflage it. I don’t want you to see it or ask questions or point or whisper.
My form of lupus leaves me with wounds and scars and I’m embarrassed. The places that havn’t yet developed into a scar shows I haven’t gotten control – of the rash or the lupus or the stress – the healing process. My raw emotions and feelings are still exposed. I haven’t learned what it is I need to learn to heal and get better. I haven’t “earned” my scar.
Weird that we are more drawn to the scar than the actual wound. Especially since it’s the wound that needs the attention, the care, the acknowledgment in order to become the scar.
So grateful for the Atonement offered by my Savior. He was never ashamed of His scars and showed them freely to the doubting. Jesus Christ paid dearly for those scars and yet He stands, arms outstretched, offering to share their healing power with me.