Part 2: Marking ourselves

We all have landmarks in our lives. Some of these are marked not just on the physical landscape of the environment we inhabit, but on our very bodies. It would be rare if a person did not have at least one scar and a story to go along with it. They are reminders of people and places, of sacrifices and joys.

The stretch marks on a teenage boy’s back that show the speed of growth (I’ve seen it!). The stretch marks on a mother’s body, battle scars of pregnancy, the original natural tattoo that memorises the greatest gift. There’s the scar on a forehead from the mouth of a dog, the healed over hole in an ear where you gave up on earrings, the line on your abdomen where they cut you to save your life from that ruptured appendix, the burn scar on your hand where you caught the iron to prevent it falling on a child’s head.

The stories come thick and fast, the bodily landmarks varying in nature, the memories ranging from joyful to desperate.

I have a scar on my wrist from a Friday evening when we were putting Christmas decorations up at church. I was standing on a chair and reaching to push a drawing pin in firmly, not noticing the nail sticking out, just under where my hand was. A momentary distraction made me unsteady in the chair and it fell from under me! With one hand I held onto the almost imperceptible ledge between the roof and the wall and the other… yep, my wrist went straight onto the nail which meant I was hanging by the nail on my wrist. Yes, it hurt!! My shouts for help were heard by a wonderful lady who was 7 months pregnant and half way up a ladder (don’t ask!) who pretty much sprinted across the room and grabbed me before the nail ripped up half my arm. The story not only reminds me to be more sensible when hanging decorations, not only reminds me of an awesome friend who was there when I needed her (and in many more circumstances she’s been there) but also it reminds me of the excruciating pain of having a nail in your wrist…and I only had it there for 2 minutes. And so I run my finger over that scar and am once again, grateful for a friend and grateful for my Saviour; a Saviour who has scars too.

But not only do our scars remind us of people and events, they are a constant reminder of hope; a reminder that wounds heal. And what greater Landmark can we have?