Beautiful Scars

She was beautiful, and her scars told her story.

She was a customer at the retail store where I have my second job, and she asked me to find the dress that she was trying on in a different size.  “I’m trying to find one that covers my radiation scars,” she said, as she pointed self-consciously to her chest.  The scars were clearly visible.

Ah, I thought.  The radiation explained her ultra-short hairstyle.

I didn’t really think that a different size dress was going to help her achieve her goal, but I gladly brought it to her anyway.  When she came out of the dressing room, she confirmed as much, but she decided to purchase the first dress and to wear a camisole under it.  I wished her a good evening as I directed her to the section of the lingerie department where she could find the camisoles.

I couldn’t help but think about her as I went through my evening.  The first thing that I had noticed about her was the hairstyle.  As I mentioned, it was ultra short, but it set off the beautiful features of her face.  I also noticed that she didn’t look me in the eye when she mumbled a response to my greeting.

That got me wondering about her story.  The fact that she’d been through radiation treatments told me that she had received an unpleasant diagnosis, probably quite unexpectedly.  What had her life been like before that diagnosis?  Had she been more confident then?  How had she gotten through that storm?  Did she know Jesus and rely on Him for strength or had she struggled through it without Him?

I began to be sorry that I had not engaged her on a deeper level.  Her scars spoke to me of strength and resilience.  They told of the blessing of God for healing her.  She was clearly a survivor.  Could she see the beauty of those things?  I could see it for her.  I wish I had told her that.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5

24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”  1 Peter 2:24

Jesus bears the scars of our disobedience (sins) on His precious body.  He first was whipped with a whip that had lead tips, tearing His flesh from His body with every strike.  A crown of thorns was twisted together and driven into His head.  Then He was led up the hill of Golgotha to the place where spikes were driven through His hands and feet as He was crucified.  Finally, a spear was driven into His side to prove that He had died on the cross.

The agony He endured left scars on His body.

Because our sins were laid upon Him as He suffered and died, you and I can be free from sin.  We are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:16 NLT) but have been freed to live lives of righteousness.  His death and resurrection brought many sons and daughters to glory through what He suffered (Hebrews 2:10).  Why did He volunteer for this?  The Word says it was “for the joy set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2).  That joy, my friends, is His ability to be in relationship for eternity with you and me!

Yes, His suffering left scars on His body, and they are the scars of love.  I look forward to the day when I will see Him face to face, when I will look upon His scars, His beautiful scars.  All praise to God!

Can you see the beauty in His scars?

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