Scars of Truth
“After He said this, He showed them His hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” John 20:20
I have a small dent in my leg from where a horseshoe hit me when I was in my early twenties. No one can see it, but I can if I look hard enough.
On my back is a little hole from where I had a suspicious mole removed just in case it would prove to be cancer.
Some might call these marks “flaws,” but I see them as proof I’ve endured hardship. If I had the chance to get rid of them, I wouldn’t, because they tell a story.
Some of us have larger scars that tell bolder, bigger, far more dramatic stories.
Other marks are largely invisible, and those can be the hardest.
Sometimes we’re tempted to pretend our wounds never happened. We keep our pain, fears, and shame buried, locked away from others, and at times, from Jesus, too.
We forget that Jesus had scars, too.
He was chased, taunted, and betrayed by one of His closest friends. He was arrested, beaten, pierced with nails, and hung to die half-naked on a cross.
When He rose from the dead, He could have chosen any form. He could have appeared with His wounds healed and the holes in His flesh covered with soft, new skin.
Instead, he owned His scars, used them for good—to prove He truly was their Lord, and He’d returned as promised.
One disciple, Thomas, wasn’t with the others when Jesus returned, and he doubted their story. But eight days later, Jesus again stood before them. Thomas was there, and Jesus said, “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!”
Jesus owned His scars. They told His story.
It’s time for us to do the same.
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministry team. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com.
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Originally published Monday, 27 March 2023.