The Scars

On a recent trip, I was flipping through the Skymall magazine on the plane. Reading the page full of silly t-shirts, I found one that would be perfect for zookeepers. “Scars are like tattoos with better stories.” While there are quite a few zookeepers with tattoos, it would be very hard to find one without scars. We kind of consider them badges of honour and often use them to illustrate our favourite stories. For instance, I have one scar that actually came from two separate animal bites: a penguin bit me and before it could heal, a pelican bit the same spot. The other day, I noticed that I have two scars that are almost identical, even though they happened in very different ways. On my right side half way up my upper arm, I have a thick white line made by a penguin bite. In almost the same spot on my left arm, I have a slightly longer, thinner white line from my pet cat, Lia, using my arm as a springboard to jump onto the back of my recliner. Looking back and forth between these two scars, I was suddenly reminded of someone else who had matching scars on right and left arms: Jesus. Both of His hands were pierced with large nails when He was hung on the cross. And like zookeepers today, He used His scars to tell His story. One of His disciples, Thomas, didn’t believe his own eyes when Jesus appeared to the disciples after He rose from the grave. Jesus told Thomas to touch the scars in His hands and the one where the spear went into His side to prove the He was indeed the same Man who had been crucified and buried. Sometimes I think it would be easier for people to believe if they could all have the same experience Thomas did, but that’s not how the Gospel works. Jesus gave us a different tool to use to prove Him to others: love. John 13:35 says “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” If we love our fellow Christians, we prove the unity of the body of Christ. If we love the unsaved, we prove that the door to salvation is open to everyone. I have to ask myself, “Is my love showing enough for people to believe His story?”