Mine is in my shoulder, from replacement surgery. Our grandson's is in his chest from heart surgery.
Country singer, Carrie Underwood's was on her face from a bad fall and 40 stitches.
But most of ours are deep inside, where no one can see them.
For Carrie Underwood, being such a public figure, having scars on her face was an understandable cause for concern. She couldn't be sure what she would look like when she healed.
Her first public appearance came some four months later at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Her song: "Cry Pretty." She confessed to being "super nervous...I felt like I'd never been on stage before." The audience gave her a rousing ovation.
As I read about her anxiety over people's reaction to her scar, it struck a chord in me. I kept thinking, "We all have scars. Emotional scars. And we don't want anyone to see them."
Our scars may be the result of a fall - an embarrassing failure or a major mistake. Some of us are scarred by rejection...betrayal...abuse...mistreatment. Divorce...grief...broken relationships...shame - major life wounds leave major life scars.
We're not sure how people will react if we open up about the wounds. So, all too often, we stuff the hurt, the pain, the anger. But just like a beach ball pushed under the water, what we stuff will surface - one way or another. And the more we push it under, the higher it will go when it goes.
Years of hidden wounds and scars pile up into a building volcano of anger, resentment, self-pity, fear, distrust, depression - continually spilling out on those closest to us.
When my Karen, the love of my life, was suddenly gone on that awful day just two years ago, I knew a lot of people would be watching how I responded. Because I'm in ministry, I would be expected to "be strong," proclaiming all the "talking points" Christians affirm when they lose someone. And let there be no confusion here - my hope in Christ has been the Anchor that holds in the most devastating storm of my life.
But, purely by God's grace, I made the choice to be as honest about the hurt as I was about the hope. To be real. To let the scar on my heart be seen and known.
I had no idea the effect that would have. It seemed to give many people permission to talk about their hurt. To get beyond the rhetoric to the real. I'm seeing how an open heart opens hearts. Including opening hearts to my Jesus.
So maybe we need to be more afraid of hiding our scars than sharing them. In most cases, letting our wounds be known allows people to offer comfort, encouragement, love. All of which bring healing to our hurt. And which can help other people unload the burden they've carried alone far too long.
Jesus famously said, "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32). And there is a sense of release in allowing yourself to be known. And understood. Often the first step to healing a broken relationship is to share the hidden wound that has turned your heart cold. Not blaming, just reaching out for healing.
Jesus calls us to "carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). But we can't carry a burden that we don't know.
I'm asking Jesus to make me a man people can feel safe with. Because our world is starved for people who will not condemn, who we know will love us with the mask off and with all the ugly out in the open.
My Jesus is like that. Not "I love you if..." or "I love you until..." No, just His unconditional "I love you." Period.
He knows about scars. They're the only thing from earth He took back to heaven with Him. From the nails in His hands and feet. The forever evidence of how endlessly He loves us.
He says, "I will not forget you! See, I have you engraved on the palms of My hands" (Isaiah 49:15-16). He really is our one safe place.