Ugly, Beautiful Scars

Scars are ugly. So we do to scars what we do to all ugly things - we hide them. Scars tell us a story of injury. They speak to the time you crashed your bike. They boast of the disease that led you to a surgeon’s operating table. They let the world know that something tragic was done to you - and now there’s a blemish to prove it.

However, what we fail to see in those ugly scars is that as much as they speak of hurt, they also speak of healing. Scars are not ugly – they are simply storytellers. And while you cannot have a scar without harm, you also cannot have a scar without restoration. You see, scars form when the skin begins to mend itself. A scar is only a scar, after the wound is no more.

Jesus had been crucified and then resurrected for several days. He had shown himself to all of the disciples, save one (John 20:24). “Doubting Thomas,” as we unjustly label him, was skeptical of the resurrection reports he had heard. So Jesus, in His loving kindness, made yet another appearance just for him.

When Jesus finally showed himself to the broken Thomas, he did not prove His resurrection with fanfare or miracles. Instead, He simply showed Thomas his nail-scarred hands and wounded side.

John 20: 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!”

Rev. Charles Spurgeon once said, “I wish to draw your attention to the ample fact, that our Lord Jesus Christ, when he rose again from the dead had in his body the marks of his passion. If he had pleased he could readily have removed them.”

Jesus understood, that while his scars spoke of crucifixion and death, they also spoke of the resurrection power of Christ. So he chose to leave them visible. Yes, you may have some hideous heart scars. They may speak of divorce, failure, abuse, abortion, a falling away…. the tragedies of life’s mistakes. But a scar is not a scar, until the wound is no more.

Your ugly, beautiful scars also speak of the resurrection power of Christ. They shout out the story of how God breathed life back into your dead dreams, how he washed away your sins, how He healed the brokenness, and how He took you back… every time. How many “Doubting Thomases” could we convince, if only we stopped hiding our scars? What if we found the courage deep inside to admit the wound, so that God could receive glory for the recovery?

So in a world obsessed with airbrushing, concealing and removing imperfections, I extend an opposing invitation to you. Will you join me in removing the mask and sharing your testimony, so that others can be free to believe? It is time to wear our scars with humble boldness, professing the resurrecting power of Christ.