We seem to have a tendency to do one of two things when we encounter a person who has been wounded either physically or emotionally. We either ignore the scar totally or we focus on it completely. Old wounds ache with a dull throbbing pain as a constant reminder that we messed up somewhere along the way. I was a rough child. I seemed to collect scars like merit badges. The stitches in the palm of my hand from a broken jar of fireflies, the scars on my knees from falling out of a moving pickup truck. I even have a couple of scars from a sword. ( only superficial and skin deep) I have numerous scrapes and scratches from briars and brambles. All of are a roadmap of my life. But the only scars I feared to collect were the scars on my soul. Broken bones and torn flesh heals so much faster than a wound of heart. As I approach a half of a century of earthly experience I have observed that to some people it’s the emotional scar that carries the badge of honor. Where I have lived life to it’s fullest and carry the physical marks of my adventures others have loved life and bear the honor of those adventures.
The image used in this post is a chestnut tree on my old home place. Years ago the metal fencepost was leaned against the trunk temporarily and then we got busy. The wound to the tree was one of neglect. When I think about the emotional wounds and scars of this world I have to believe that the majority are caused by neglect. We simply forget to go back and relieve a burden. The person wounded carries that burden until it works it’s way into the soul and becomes a part of them. It’s okay to remind a person of the burden that they left behind. It’s okay to simply cast off something that’s not supposed to be a part of your life. It’s wise to avoid the wound. But if you carry no scars have you really lived? One day this tree will be cut down. All that will remain will be the wood. As is a tradition in many rural areas someone will use the wood and the inclusion of scars will make for a beautiful end product. So it is with the scars we carry in the soul. They say that beauty is only skin deep but they are wrong. Beauty comes up from the very depth of the soul. It’s the scars and inclusions that make that beauty unique.