In a recent episode of All Creatures Great and Small I heard something remarkable. “Time heals all wounds, but the scars remain.”
In hearing these words, I immediately thought about my journey with polio. The losses I have suffered. The scars which remain from orthopedic surgeries. The healing I received in the passing of time. It is that healing in the passing of time and from God’s love that I have been blessed. Now my scars are sources of strength and wisdom, not weakness. In serving others in divorce. In assisting others in probate after the death of loved ones. Every person I have represented is on the same journey as me. The wisdom, suffering, and meaning I have received because of polio have all made me a better servant of God in serving others. Others who, in one way or another, have scars just like me.
There are different kinds of scars. The physical ones. Most everyone has some of those from skinned knees from learning to ride a bicycle or how to roller-skate as a child. Cutting of a finger or hand from the knife used improperly. I have some of those in addition to the scar that runs from the base of my neck to the top of my tailbone. The scar that left its mark when Dr. Harrington inserted 3 steel rods in my back at the age of ten. The scar is ugly. Yet, there is so much beauty and joy in my life that resulted from being scarred in that way.
Then, there are the mental ones. The scars that you cannot see with your eyes. They are the scars that are felt in the heart. The unseen scars of the walking wounded. Those scars are invisible to the human eye. Yet, the gravity and the consequences of those wounds of the heart are profound.
One of my pet peeves is use of the term, “closure.” Psychologically, the idea that you and I can suffer a loss, a death, a trauma, polio, illness or divorce and have “closure” sounds good. Everything is in the rear-view mirror. When I hear someone ask another, “Do you have closure?” I cringe. For me, as with my polio, there is no such thing as closure. The scars of polio, both physical and mental, will always dwell in me. The scars are part of the best me I am now. The scars remain alongside the lessons, the wisdom, and the gifts that I received from them.
People in divorce are the same as me. So are people who have lost parents, spouses, children and friends. They have wounds which need to be healed. Those scars will always remain. Yet beside the wounds reside gifts that remain. The blessings of love received, memories of human embrace, the touch a healing hand, and the flowering of gifts and abilities that would otherwise have gone unappreciated or neglected.
I believe in Angels. I believe that time and God’s love heal what is broken in you and in me. As for the scars that remain, I believe that they are eyes for us to see the light and the love of God.
God surely transforms our scars into our greatest blessings—just as the five wounds of Christ on the Cross transformed death into eternal life. In prayer my wounds and scars from polio became portals for God to step in and say, “I will heal you because I love you as my child.” In my calling I feel that every day God asks me to share my wounds and scars with others so that they too may see the love of God in their own suffering, pain, and scars.
God has spoken in Scripture about our scarred and broken hearts and appreciating the strengths that come from our weaknesses.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
2 Corinthians 11:30
If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.
Let us pray together.
Dear God, in my life I have suffered scars to my body and my heart. In prayer I ask You to please heal such wounds in need of healing.
God, I thank You for giving me the time to heal and Your love to rise above the wounds to my body and spirit.
God, in prayer please help me see that there is another side to the pain from my scars. Please grant me the wisdom to see that the pain from my scars can lead me to discover Your purpose in my creation.
God, please help me to view my scars and wounds as Your invitation for spiritual growth. For me to stand ever nearer to You. To be at the place where my wounds are not weaknesses but rather a special place at which I see and share Your love with others. Amen
If you think Jack’s prayer helps you or will help someone you know, please forward it to them. Jack may never make millions selling books or writing prayers, but spreading God’s good news to others is reward enough for him.
Ann Boland, Jack’s Publicist