This past Easter Season I talked a lot about the scars that Jesus had after the resurrection – which I have to admit I find to be very odd. If Jesus has been lifted up from death, why would the scars remain? If there is supposed to be no pain or struggle in heaven, why would He be anything but perfectly healed?
Scars are important for a number of reasons:
1 – They are proof of healing. An open wound still festers, and it is a sign that we are not well. Scars are our bodies way of showing ourselves and others that we doing better.
2 – Scars help us to remember. They become stories that we share – they might even be the source of competition with others, a way of comparing our past injuries. Remembering is necessary to personal and spiritual growth.
3 – Scars are signs to others that our lives haven’t been perfect. They might come from injuries, or surgeries, or shots: scars challenge any notion we might have that we have gotten through life unscathed.
When Jesus reappeared to the disciples, He told Thomas to touch His scars – His hands and side -and this was proof that He was who He said He was. No wings or halos or trumpeting angels accompany Jesus as he visited with the disciples after His resurrection. Just scars.
You and I have scars as well, and they can be a way of remembering and moving on, or they can keep us in a state of anger and regret. We have scars inside too – they are not easily seen or healed, and if they are allowed to fester, they will make us sick. Grief is like that – so are grudges. We have to process and heal, or we and those we love will suffer.
Scars allow us to remember, and, maybe, to forgive. We can learn to forgive is we accept that everyone else has scars too, and those scars, like our own, can cause us to inflict damage wherever we go – unless we find a way to heal. Maybe if we used our scars to change ourselves and the world around us, things might get a little better. Peace.