On a search for a better world, finding it in the most unlikely places
With the changing of the seasons, and the volatile weather patterns of a Midwestern November, I receive reminders fairly frequently. Some days it’s not the weather – some days it’s a push-up, or twisting a dumbbell or bar wrong, or sleeping on my left arm… I wake up, and I am suddenly reminded…
It’s New Years Day 2008, and I’m trying to figure out why my Honda civic is in the water. I look around…the steering column is gone, jagged pieces of tempered glass everywhere. a long piece of metal skewered through my car, right past my face, then I see the blood pouring out of my mangled coat sleeve, and the pain slices through the adrenaline, and i kick the door open, stumbling into the cold…
But this is not then, and instead of a raw, bloody mess, my arm is stitched up, with six inches of titanium core surrounded by new bone. Stronger than ever, but not the same…
Scars have a way of continually bringing into the present the darkest moments of the past.
Those things we push to the back of our mind.
Those moments that make us cringe.
The bitter taste of defeat.
We all have them – some of us physical, some of us emotional, some of us in the very core of our being. Scars – indelible marks of the trauma that a broken reality will put us through. Cuts, and tears, and holes that refuse to just disappear.
We have been led to believe a twisted, incredibly damaging lie.
We have trusted and been let down, again, and again.
We have lost our faith in others.
In our story.
In any story at all.
We can’t remember what an un-broken heart feels like…
Listen to me, friend, and listen well;
You are not defined be what has happened to you.
You are not defined by what you have done to yourself.
You are not defined by the unfulfilled expectation of your parents, peers, teachers, or lovers.
You are not defined by the merciless mastery of your own self.
Your story is worth telling, and living, your beauty and strength is more than you know. Do not listen to the ghosts, because ghosts do not own your reality.
This is here, this is now, and they are not here, and you do not belong to them.
Of all the stories I ever heard about Jesus, the thing no one ever talks about, the beauty that completely passes us by….they say that Jesus died, and Jesus rose, that He beat death so completely that no one should ever live in fear of its power again.
But they neglect the scars.
On his hands.
On his feet.
Scarred, forever. Scarred by death. Scarred by life. Scarred for the love of us.
Scarred, so that those of us who have scars won’t be afraid, and will refuse to be defined by what has happened…these things don’t define you, but they remind you that you survived – that you were meant to overcome…that your story is a wonderful one, destined for a beautiful end.
Don’t lose hope.
The Suburban Vagabond