Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beautiful Scars

Sometimes scars can be deep, yet sometimes barely noticeable.
Sometimes they are recent.
Sometimes they are life long scars you carry for years.

No matter what type of scar you might see they all represent one thing:


Have you ever stopped to think that there is power in scars?

When Jesus was crucified he was nailed to the cross through his hands and his feet.
Jesus resurrected in a perfect heavenly body, except for one thing.
He still displayed the scars from His crucifixion.

Why is that?
He certainly had the power to completely remove the scars in His hands and feet yet they still remained.

The answer is so simple that it might astound you.

You see, after Jesus resurrected he appeared to His disciples but Thomas was not with them.
They told Thomas that they had seen him but he would not believe them until He saw Jesus for himself and could feel his nail scarred hands.

John chapter 20 tells the story like this," 24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”    But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed
As painful as the crucifixion must have been for Jesus, He knew the importance of keeping the scars visible as a testimony to who He was.

Fast forward about 2000 years.

It is a cold wintry day here in Denver, Colorado.

I am here attending the Gay Christian Network's annual conference.

The low tonight is in the single digits which is much colder then this southern boy is used to.
Not to mention the snow that just keeps falling.

Despite the blustery conditions my heart is so warm.

At the conference each year there is a "sharing night" where the attendees speak about what God has done for them through this event.

As person after person shared their stories in this open mic night I was moved to tears.

Hearing the stories of pain and hurt, sometimes the equivalent of abuse from churches, or families, or life long friends broke my heart.
Each person sharing had their own wounds that they bared for all to see.
There was one common thread that every person had in common.
That thread is healing.

God has been working in the lives of his beautiful gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and trans gendered children and bringing them healing; turning their wounds into scars.

As they shared their stories the chains of bitterness and resentment fell to the floor, replaced by grace, mercy, and forgiveness for those who hurt them.

Each testimony shared led to more healing for all who were present in the room.

At this moment amongst tears of joy, thoughts of deep pain and intense healing, I thought back to the scars that Jesus bore.

He kept His scars of what to most would seem like His darkest hour visible for all to see.
Those scars became a living example of His testimony that caused even the doubting Thomas to believe and declare that Jesus was in fact alive.

In that same way the scars of our past remain so that others will see us and know that we have new life!

Don't fall into the traps of guilt and shame about past mistakes.
Don't allow yourself to live in resentment and hatred against those who have hurt you.

Instead, Rejoice!

Those wounds that once seemed to consume and cripple you are now Beautiful Scars, each one a testimony of the astounding healing power of Jesus Christ in your life.

Remember that God Loves You.
He Created You.
He Accepts You.

Until next time,