If you are just stopping in, this is the twenty fifth post in my 31 Day Series: I Wear Pink. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on February 18, 2009. This series is about my journey with breast cancer. You can find the previous posts here.
Day 25: Scars
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. ~2 Corinthians 12:10
My mother in law and I belong to a local book club. We share a love of books and enjoy discussing them with others. Last year our club read the book, Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
It is a tale of sacrifice and loss, betrayal and friendship, love and apathy. The main character is a young Nigerian girl who calls herself Little Bee. At one point in the book Little Bee shared this thought that really resonated with me as a cancer survivor.
"I ask you to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means I survived."
Breast cancer has left me with an impressive scar. Although the tumor was small, my scar stretches from under my underarm out. I also have a smaller almost unnoticeable scar from the lymph node biopsy. A portion of my breast is missing, from about 3:30 to 5:30. It is not obvious when I am clothed that I have scars from my battle.
Life hands out damaging blows to people of all ages and backgrounds. None of us get through life without pain. We all have scars. Admittedly some are more visible that others. Scars are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of survival.
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.”
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!” 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.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” ~John 20:24-31
The risen Christ showed his friends the scars that His life, His suffering, and His death inflicted on Him. Those scars remind us that Jesus felt pain, just as we feel pain. The scars of Jesus became part of the evidence for the reality of the resurrection. His scars were not obliterated. They remained. A scar doesn't form on the dead. It forms on the living. He continues to carry the scars. He has allowed us to be engraved on His hands.
We walk with a Savior who comes, scarred, to be with us with whatever scars we bear, with whatever wounds we carry, and with whatever doubts we harbor. Scarred hands reaching out to scarred lives.
Surely, he has borne our infirmities, and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
struck down by God,
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities
Upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
And by his stripes we are healed. ~Isaiah 53:4-6