What Your Scars Can Really Be …

In the kitchen, after supper, while we stack the plates, she pulls up her sleeve to shows me her scars.

“Did you see this one here on my arm?” When she bends, a tendril falls across her face, and her finger traces this whorl and I can see how the skin pulls, how pain is embroidered right into her.

She is six and she is marked. And there is still so much road ahead.

How many decades will she wear these scars? How will she stretch the memory of these things right around her? And when will the hard, risen edge of the wound fade away?

“And this one’s from a burn.”


I’m scraping wilted lettuce leaves, soggy with dressing, off the plate and she’s pointing her index finger straight up like a signpost, so the pale white line of the heat that branded her can catch the light from the window.

She’s holding her scarred finger straight up in the light — and she looks just like Patsy, when Patsy had turned, that’s what I think.

When Patsy had turned and held her index finger straight up and then pointed to herself.

“I had agoraphobia too.” That’s what Patsy had said to me, her chair next to mine in a room of women, her red glasses slipping down the bridge of her nose, her eyes not leaving mine. She had pointed her finger up, like a raising of a hand, like a joining of this sorority of suffering. “So I know,” she said… “I know.”

She reached over to squeeze my hand and my chin trembled. I had squeezed back. We aren’t ever alone.

The decades had pulled and she had grown into Him and white haired and exquisite, Patsy, she had shown me her scars.

And Angie talked of the moment her baby girl took her last earthly breath and how she didn’t know how to keep breathing.

When she spoke of holding Audrey for the last time, her hands shook like a leaf in the wind.

Lisa shared her begging prayers for a child and Liz passed down the salad dressing and spoke of a checkered past and a blessed baptism and a forgiven life.

Elisa read from Luke and showed me her heart shards and we nodded and brimmed and prayed.




Afterwards, Shannon and I sat on a park bench and the water fountain reflected in the lamplight and she poured it all out right there, about the accident and the ambulance and the funeral and the police.

The water fountain had kept falling, scarring the surface of the pond.

Healing, somehow healing.

Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the world,” is what I had written in One Thousand Gifts, in my own scar-story.

Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the world — because The Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, “I know. I know.

He shows us His scars.

He knows.

He knows.

Sandi had stood after dessert and cleared her throat and sang it.


Patsy had smiled and clapped.

Elisa  and Liz and Lisa  had cheered.

And I had bowed my head, the whole room, right to the ceiling, right to the ends of us, filling with Sandi’s notes,

I see trees of green— red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you —
And I think to myself —- what a wonderful world….”

And I had looked around at a room full of broken women, scars on their stories and Jesus on their lips and the water fountain bloomed hope over the pond and the wounded women held hands and Truth was happening in us:

“And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”(Romans 5:2-4)

The scar-stories matter not because of the pain but because of what the scarred can make of Him — and there is always the choice to be sorry for our selves or bring glory to our Savior.

The women sang.

And the whole room spun on this spinning wounded, wonderful world and you could see it reflecting in all the eyes, all the smiles, all His joy.

Correctly then is this world called the mirror of divinity;” wrote John Calvin. ”

Not that there is sufficient clearness for man to gain a full knowledge of God by looking at the world, but… the faithful, to whom he has given eyes, sees sparks of his glory, as it were, glittering in every created thing.” That’s what Calvin had said. “The world was no doubt made that it might be the theater of divine glory.

And when Sandi hit the high notes — “What a wonderful world” — the room became that, this theater of divine glory, no doubt the whole world made to be this.

And the faithful, the ones to whom He has given eyes, can see it in all the glittering, all the shimmering, in all the smiles and the tears and the stories…


“Do you think the scar will ever go away, Mama?”

A six-year-old asks me this in the kitchen, her finger, her white wound, still pointing. For those with eyes to see, to look along all of life, all is a line leading straight to God.

I set the plate on the counter.

I touch her mark, hardly touch the curve of her mark. I can hear Sandi singing. And see Patsy’s finger pointing to her herself.

And all those beautiful, wounded women holding hands.


The scars can be beauty marks.” I tell this one little girl, a girl just beginning down her road. “The scars can carve you to be more like Christ.”

Beauty always bears scars because of Love.

And she nods, holding her scar there in the light….

And it’s even here in the scars —

these certain sparks of glory.





“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.” ~ Romans 8:17

“… the faithful, to whom He has given eyes, sees sparks of his glory, as it were, glittering in every created thing.” ~ John Calvin: Commentary on Hebrews


praying to have eyes to see “to see sparks of his glory, as it were, glittering in every created thing” (John Calvin)…. the endless One Thousand Gifts  …

#3407…  Shalom reading each morning to me from The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name, her scarred little finger pointing out each word

#3408…  the Farmer and his grin bringing me purple lilies

#3409…. a sixteen-year-old son greeting me in the morning with “I love you, Mom.”

#3410…. us all reciting it around the table, the memorization of our Sermon on the Mount verses

#3411…. reading Martyn Lloyd Jones’ Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

#3412…. early morning tea with a dear friend

#3413…. serving beautiful Jesus-sisters alongside my Women of Faith sisters this fall

#3414… “But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.” {1 Peter 4:13}

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Print April’s Joy Dare and begin this holy week — this month — right!

Count three gifts a day, 1000 gifts in 2012 (and be entered to win the NikonD90 camera?) Thank-you is a word that can change you, your world — the whole world!

And a happy new surprise for April:

Each day of April, 3 people who share their 1000 gifts Joy Dare for the day, one on Twitter {label with #1000gifts #JoyDare so we can find you!}, one sharing their gifts in the gratitude community at Facebook , and one on Pinterest (#1000gifts), will be randomly selected & entered into a drawing for a gift card @ Amazon {100$} & joy-in-a-box {signed copies of One Thousand Giftsthe photographic gift book, the DayBrightner, and the family gratitude journal} Give thanks to Him in the assembly!

Join us? And happily change everything by keeping your own crazy list of One Thousand Gifts?

Please, jump in, make your life about giving thanks to God! — Just add the direct URL to your specific 1000 gift list post… and if you join us, we humbly ask that you please help us find each other in our refrain of thanks by sharing the community’s graphic within your post.

Give thanks to the Lord! His Love Endures Forever!