Naming My Scars

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

I hate my scars.

When I look in the mirror, especially when I’m not wearing a shirt, I can’t help but cringe. I have a 6 inch gnarly looking scar running down my chest, where surgeons cracked me open to do some heart surgery.

And just down from my left shoulder, I have another scar, where they inserted the pacemaker and defibrillator to get my heart pumping properly.

Every day, I have these two wicked reminders of my mortality, and yes, I pretty much hate them. They are permanent markers of my brush with death, but even beyond that, they are signposts signaling my fragility, that this old body of mine has some mileage put on it.

I’m reminded that I’m just not what I used to be. And yes, that’s a hard thing to have staring me in the face on a daily basis.

What about you? What scars do you have? Knee surgery? That time you fell and bumped your head? A mastectomy? Some scars aren’t physically visible, but you can see them staring back at you just the same.

I don’t know about you, but I need an attitude adjustment when it comes to scars. I need to name that I have them. I need to be grateful for what they represent — that I have lived fully, deeply, and that I am still here.

I need to name my scars, because they can remind me that this body and this mind will go through all kinds of turbulence along its journey through this life, but that what I see when I look in the mirror is just a dim reflection of something that will vividly come into focus one day.

One day I will see clearly. I will see that God is there before me, telling me I am beloved. That’s what faith tells us. That’s what Paul was writing about in Corinthians. That God’s love is eternal and powerful, and written into every mark left on our bodies and minds.

I need to name my scars. So here goes: Steve and Jack. Jack is my heart scar, named after Jack Haley, who played the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. And Steve is my pacemaker scar, named after Steve Austin, the Bionic Man. Steve and Jack are my two new pals.

Now when I stand in front of the mirror, I’m amongst friends. And God is present there, too, my greatest companion along this journey. With me in good times and challenging times. Reminding me that life and love are precious.

The scars may fade a bit as time goes on…

but the face of God is getting clearer every day.

Have a great week,