I have a seven inch scar that stretches from the top of my left hip and down. It’s the reminder that I was born with a broken body. Sometimes, it feels like a stinging reminder that something wasn’t complete when I entered this world. Sometimes it reminds me that miracles happen through the careful hands of doctors and low-hanging surgical lights.
Then there’s the scar that sits dime-sized in the middle of my shin. An excited summer child running through a dark field, tripping on a big-revival-tent spoke. Legs marked by tree limbs, beach skirmishes, bicycles spinning wildly out of control somewhere around the bend in our middle driveway. Dots and lines of scars on my knees from sports injuries, slipped kneecaps, lacrosse in my junior year gone wrong.
I am marked with scars of life. I can remember looking at my friends unscathed legs, realizing that they would grow to have the legs of women that men marveled at. I would never have those legs. I would have the legs of a girl who was broken when she arrived, broken when she ran, broken when she fell, broken when she lived.
These are the things that sometimes cross my mind when I am changing and I feel the tension of skin against scar. I am always measuring my beauty against experience, and sometimes wishing my experience hadn’t stolen so much of who I could have been. And they’re not just on my legs. But I feel them in my heart too. All sorts of scars that make me wonder if my beauty and story is forever marred by the gashes.
I don’t know what Eve looked like on the outside, but I know when she took that fruit, she ripped a scar from her heart down the lineage line to my own. And that’s the one I’m most aware of.
I’m tempted to hide these scars, like her. With leaves. With lies. By flashing you a smile and an “A-Ok” attitude before you get a glimpse into how broken I sometimes feel. I cover them, sprawling my fingers wide along jagged edges I can’t conceal.
But these scars? If I trace them, they become lifelines. Stories. Reminders of healing. Reminders of lessons learned. Reminders of protection, foolishness, helplessness. I trace my finger along these white lines and feel the pulse of redemption. There in my heart too, I trace. I see that all things come back together for good.
The best kind of healing is the kind that happens fully, completely. What’s left behind is not a mistake. It’s a reminder that God came near, and His grace took over when everything could have been abandoned. I feel a sense of camaraderie to Jacob, and his limp, and knowing that God comes close and lets us wrestle, and then leaves us changed.
So as we grow in relationships, friendships, at home or wherever we find ourselves comparing perfect shiny legs and bandaged, bruised hearts, remember that the things that break us are the very things that tell the story of our Rescue. Christ is taking all these broken pieces and making us into something we didn’t expect.
And we can trace these lifelines with our fingers and whisper thanks.