Beautiful Scars

Anyone who has spent any time with me usually notices my scar. It’s rather hard to miss. It’s a long “S” shaped mark on my right cheek and neck.

It’s really not something I think about unless someone asks about it. It’s been a part of me for over 25 years, so I guess I’m used to it. If I do think about it, it is usually when I’m putting on my make-up and I try to cover it up. I wish it would disappear. But it’s something I’ve learned to accept.

Recently, a friend asked me about it and I told him the story.  I was diagnosed with melanoma, skin cancer, when I was 16 years old. I had surgery to remove the tissue from my face and a few lymph nodes to check for any more signs of cancer. Thankfully, none was found. But the mark is still there.

After hearing the story, my friend responded, “It’s beautiful.” My face scoured in disbelief. “It is not beautiful,” I responded. “It’s big and ugly.” What a strange thing to say, I thought. But when I thought about his comment later, a voice spoke to my soul. That’s how I see your scar. I think it’s beautiful, too.

The tears came as the truth of those words hit me full on. God sees my scar as beautiful because He was there. He was with my family and me throughout that whole ordeal. It was that experience, along with all the others in my life, both good and bad, that have made me who I am. And He sees me as beautiful. It was as if the words of my friend  began to heal a place in me that I didn’t even know needed healing. But God did.

Song of Solomon 4:7 says “You are absolutely beautiful,my darling, with no imperfection in you.” I’m inclined to believe that love and not the light of reality shaded the lover’s view of his beloved, just like God’s perfect love and His point of view through the blood of His Son’s sacrifice colors how He sees me. I tend to focus on all of the perceived flaws I see in myself. God sees me as His beloved, beautiful child, scars and all.

The injuries and pain in our lives can leave scars. Some are physical. Some are emotional. They can serve as a constant reminder of the hurt we once experienced. But God would have us see those scars in the light of his perfect plan as the master sculptor.

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