Earlier this month I posted the following statement on my Facebook wall.
Listening to throw-back Thursday on Proclaim FM… They are playing Michael W Smith’s “Friends are Friends” song. Suddenly… I am over whelmed with memories of a time in my life that I buried a long time ago… a time when I was known as Mr. Lee. He’s been dead for 20 years now.
I had posted that as a simple statement of the fact that the song brought back some memories of a time in my life when I was the Administrator of a Christian School. I had a few comments to my post about how that time in my life wasn’t all bad and I basically shouldn’t think of it as a negative time in my life.
Let me make something very clear…I don’t.
I don’t view it as a negative time in my life at all, but there are some memories from that period of my life that I would like to forget forever. To be honest, there are things that I have honestly blocked out of my mind. I will have former students come up to me and remind me of something I did or something happened in the school and I just don’t remember many of those events. No offense to any former student or staff member during my tenure there. It is just some of those memories I’d really just rather forget. That includes both the good and bad memories.
I hold that time in my life as very precious and it took years for me to be able to move on. It took me years to come to grips with the loss of my ministry. When a song like the one mentioned above comes on and the memories flood my mind it brings back the hurt that I caused and it reminds me once again of my failure in my ministry.
God has been very gracious to me and has allowed me to move on. The hurt is not what it once was and there are periods of times in my life that I don’t remember the hurt at all. God has taken away much of the pain but the one thing He has not done is remove the spiritual scars that I earned during that time in my life.
Truth is… I have many scars.
Not as often as in the past and honestly the only time I see the scars that I carry is when those memories are stirred by a conversation. Or as in this example, a song. The memories can be so vivid and that they take me right back there again. I usually wrestle with the Lord a little, wondering what is the purpose of this remembering.
Why do we need to feel it all and hurt so much again? Now, it never goes away, there is always pain, but it may not be as intense as it can be sometimes. Something reminds us and the pain comes again. What is the Lord’s purpose in those painful memories and why are they still necessary?
Over the past few years I believe that I am coming to terms with accepting these memories. I am starting to understand that these memories come up so we can remember not to lose our compassion for others, especially when there are many people are struggling in their life. Maybe we need to spend more time praying for others who we know are hurting. Maybe we need to reach out and give a hand to one of these people. It obvious that sometimes it takes a lot for the Lord to get our attention off our selves and put our focus on others.
I want to keep my scars. Not from a sense of pride but for a reminder of what happens when you take your eyes off of Jesus Christ. I have always been amazed that Jesus kept his physical scars.
Did you ever wonder why He kept the scars? If He was the son of God, why not completely heal those hands and feet. Why bear the scars? Why did Jesus keep the scars, show the scars and why does He through eternity keep those scars?
Was it simply to show them that he was the same person that had been crucified? Was it simply to historically verify that the same person who had been brutally treated, died, was buried, came to life again? Or was there a deeper meaning in his scars that he so willingly showed his disciples?
The most obvious reason He showed His disciples the scars, and continues to wear the scars even in eternity is because scars tell a story. Probably if each of us to survey our own body, we would be able to tell the story of virtually every scar that shows. The reason for that – scars tell a story.
We all have wounds in our hearts, either from sin in our lives or painful things that happen along the journey. Whatever the wound is from is not important, what is important is that we have that scar to remind us of what God taught us through the pain.
My prayer is that each wound the Lord heals in my life I only hope He leaves the scar so I won’t forget. Our scars should lead us to honor God for His mercy and remind us of His love and mercy for us. They should lead us to have compassion for others.
I thank the Lord for leaving the scars in my life. I hope that they continue to tell a story of God’s forgiveness and healing in my life.
May this be your prayer as well. May we always ask God to heal the wound but leave the scar.