“Don’t pick that scab!” my mother yelled at me for the umpteenth time. Like any young boy I slowly lowered my hand until she looked away and then scratched at the scab above my eye once again. “Timothy! Don’t scratch that, it will scar!”
Yep, 30 years later I still have a small scar above my eye. Although hardly noticeable to the untrained eye, the scar serves as a reminder that my mom knew what she was talking about. She predicted this very fate and I will have this blemish for the rest of my life.
The older I get, the more signs of imperfection show up. I still have gravel in my hand from a bike crash six years ago. I have scars on my elbows from sledding accidents gone wrong. I have a white line in my finger where the knife sunk into the flesh as I played Iron Chef in the kitchen.
The reminders of pain and recovery. A tattoo of life’s lessons and experiences that prove that we are mortal.
While the scars on my flesh all have a story, the internal scars are more difficult to recognize. The hurtful words that someone said in a moment of passion. The rejection from the world or stories of regret plagues our minds. Each situation leaves it mark on us, and how we bounce back develops our character as people.
While I have faced a few challenges recently, I have determined that my reaction to these situations will drive my recovery. Will my internal scar be a story I can look back on with strength or will it be an injury that causes my demise?
I was at the market this last week and I started chatting with the clerk about an upset customer that just stormed out of the store in a rush.
“More people should slow it down and count their blessings” I told him
“For every bad thing that happens to me, I sit down and verbally say three good things that have happened to me today. It helps me keep it in perspective.” He said.
I don’t want to be the sort of person that lets the scar tissue develop into bitterness. I want to be the sort of person that remembers my scars and grows from the experience. God wants to heal us, but we need to let him. In order to do that we must stay focused on what matters and what is good. Let the scabs heal.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.