For if we had hands like God’s, and arms like Christ, we’d reach far, we’s take every scar, and we’d never measure the length. We’d never take the time to just think about it and wait. We’d stretch so far, we’d have stretch marks of faith. (Hosanna Wong)
Yesterday was a public holiday in Japan. And doing what I love to do best on public holidays in Japan, I did some DIY.
No seriously. It was a full on DIY day.
Some good old build-a-new-reception DIY.
Okay. So I didn’t do it myself, I admit. BUT I did paint 92 wooden bricks a variety of colours, glue said bricks into place, saw many tiny pieces of wood into even smaller pieces, and hammer things together. These were obviously vital jobs.
Anyway, the result of a day of DIY and many, many hours of hard graft, was truly awesome, if I do say so myself.
We made…. THIS
Ta-da!! One completed brand-new-reception counter, waiting for your check-in.
Okay. But the reason for this blog post is not a celebration of great receptions. (Well, I guess kinda, sorta…)
I want to rewind slightly to the part of the story where I said I was ‘sawing’. Remember that? I said I was sawing wood. Well, that’s true. I did. And. Also. I sawed through… Part of my thumb.
DON’T panic. It’s totally not that bad. I didn’t saw through much of it. Just enough to make me bleed a bit. And then have to be careful not to get my blood on the carefully painted yellow counter. A couple of plasters and I’ll be right as rain.
But, I reckon I’ll have a little scar to show for my efforts.
And this little scar will always remind me of the beautifully crafted reception desk.
It got me thinking about the scars that I have on my body. I have another one of my left index finger from stripping wallpaper in my friend’s house a few years back. I have one on my left shoulder, caused when my infamous dog ran under my feet and sent me flying into concrete. I have a pretty big and impressive one on my back caused when I fell through a church skylight as a teenager and needed rescuing from a massive drop below.
My scars have stories. They hurt at the time. They were painful. But the memories are actually good. Being with friends. Being with my dog. Being with my family. I don’t mind having scars that remind me of these things and these stories.
But I guess what I often think I like less are the unseen, internal scars. The heart scars. The things that I think we all carry with us in a variety of forms. I often pray God will remove them. Remove the memory of them. The shame of them. Remove everything about them.
But the thing is, I think scars have a purpose. And I think that although I have a testimony that God has completely and abundantly healed my pain, He allows my scars to remain. I think they display my weakness. But He says they display His strength. I think they are ugly. He thinks they are beautiful. I focus on the battle. He brings my eyes to see His victory.
And so I guess I’m finally learning to be at peace with my scars.
I was remembering the quote that I started with. It’s from a Hosanna Wong poem and I love it. Because it reminds me that the reason my scars can be redeemed, is only through the scarred hands of Jesus.
The only reason my scars can be made into a beautiful testimony of His grace, is because His scars cover me.
Because He laid aside His Divine majesty and clothed Himself in the garments of the humblest. The weakest. The powerless.
He demonstrated His love through this eternal sacrifice.
Not just in His death, but through His life, through every breath He breathed in human flesh. He demonstrated this majestic love and magnificent grace.
And when He had showed us His love through this life o love, lived walking with the lowest and the least, He rearranged the entire cosmos in an act that only the One who was both fully God and yet fully man could ever undertake.
Through the transformational power of His death.
And our rescue.
He pulled us from the pit and the penalty and the consequence of our sin, and enabled us to stand before Him as an equally yoked bride.
His words resounding through heaven’s courts, ‘What’s yours is Mine, and what’s Mine is yours.’
And He rose.
Defeating death and yet still clothed in the humility of flesh, but risen flesh, bearing the eternal scars that still loudly declare His abundant love for us throughout the heavens and the earth.
The wound in His side.
The marks on His hands.
Ascending as a man.
Returning as a man.
His initiative. His design. His purpose.
Our King. Our beloved.
And scars that undo and redo me over and over again.