Our scars tell stories – some ugly, some about sacrifice, some learning moments. Scars show our vulnerability, our ‘softness’, our past (or even persisting) pain. The evening of that first Easter Jesus came to show himself to his disciples. They were behind locked doors, but he got in. They may have been in denial, but he got in. They may have been hiding in fear, but he got in. Jesus got in because he was able to show them his scars – scars of the story of what happened.
The world in which we live goes to great lengths to cover up anything having to do with vulnerability, especially vulnerability that reveals imperfections, pain, regrets, failure or loss. From basic cosmetics to how we use our words to a ‘marketing’ presentation in business and positioning – so much of what we are taught to do in professional and in personal life is to protect ourselves, protect what is ours and keep in modest reserve any sense of vulnerability.
In Frank Honeycutt’s article in the April Living Lutheran magazine, he makes the significant point that the church community unites us in the reality of our scars. Jesus stands in the middle of the community of his disciples (then and now) and shows us his scars – his wounds are wide open for examination. In this way he brings connection beneath our efforts for perfection, he brings bridges over the troubled waters of life, he brings peace overpowering the tumult of our days and the anxiety of our nights. Jesus’s scars tell us that the world can and does take its toll on us because we are not living up to its ‘rules’ yet God’s ‘rule’ is what gives us life.
In the locked away places that tell us to be serious all the time, that tell us to be on our best grown-up behavior, that teach us to hide our mistakes and cover up our flaws, to be morally perfect and pounded into the ground when we’re not – all those places are where the Risen Christ breaks in and brings peace ultimately to us. And then connects us to himself and one another when he reveals his vulnerability and his scars – we recognize ourselves, our pain, our sacrifice, our loss in his ultimate act of doing so. Church is that place where with dignity, respect, love and grace we share our vulnerabilities, we see beyond the scars to the best of who we are and can be and we find the courage within to move beyond those locks that held us back from being fully authentic, gracious, generous, loving children of a scarred God……a God marred with beautiful scars that tell the story of how far love will go for us and for all Creation.
See you in church where we can reveal our scars and share our stories,