Previously published on 9/30/2013
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
When you hear the word, “scars”, I bet you picture something ugly. Maybe you have some scars and seeing them reminds you of the pain that created them. Some people think of the physical remnant of a long ago wound, while others feel the twinge of emotional pain that never seems to quite fade. Scars are rarely beautiful in our imagination.
But, this last week, I watched someone bare her scars to a friend, in the hopes of offering comfort and encouragement. I listened as a woman who is held in high esteem shared of the struggles she has overcome in her marriage and her home. Just a few weeks ago, her husband stood before their church congregation and bared his scars (and hers by association) in a testimony to the goodness of The Lord. It was brave. It was transparent. It was beautiful.
According to the Apostle Paul, God never lets our trials go to waste. If we let Him, He comforts us in our pain so that we may, in turn, comfort others. We go through trials to learn perseverance. If we allow The Lord to heal us, and we listen when He gives the opportunity, He gives us beauty for ashes and amazing purpose in pain.
As a first-born perfectionist, I have struggled with transparency. But, because The Lord is good, He has allowed me to see the beauty of sharing my pain. He’s allowed me to walk with beloved sisters who walk a road I’ve known. I’ve been honored to have women who have done the same for me. I don’t know where I would be without their transparency and willingness to expose their scars.
How are you wounded? What scars are you hiding? I pray that you will watch for the opportunity to bring someone into your confidence. When you see someone hurting, maybe you will have an opportunity to be brave and show your scars. It may be the best thing you’ve ever done, and you may find beauty there. May the God of all comfort give you those moments. May they be beautiful.