“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” “The other disciples told [Thomas], ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.’ Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” Isaiah 53:4-6; John 20:25-28
Captivated by the ragged scar on the rock face, wondering at its cause, my mind turns to the nail scarred hands. The closer we climbed, the more angles of light that exposed the jagged edges of riven rock, I could not help but think of my Rock of ages, cleft for me, the immovable Rock upon which my faith is established, the Rock and Redeemer Whose side was split for me, His blood and water washing my sins away and freeing me from the tyranny of transgression, temptation. What a Savior! (1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 18:2,46; John 19:34; 1 John 5:6)
So why do I shrink from pain that brings scars? Do I choose soft quilted cushions over the fray, unwilling to bear shame and agony my Savior bore for me? Do I retreat from speaking or defending truth to hide behind a protective curtain of ignorance or acquiescence? Am I above identifying with Him? He Who holds me in His nail-scarred hands is He Who is sufficient for all things, including pain and suffering. He redeems every sorrow, making beautiful every scar to reflect His mercy and glory. (Isaiah 49:16)
“Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land;
I hear them hail thy bright, ascendant star.
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers; spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned.
Hast thou no wound?
No wound? No scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And piercèd are the feet that follow Me.
But thine are whole; can he have followed far
Who hast no wound or scar?” ~Amy Carmichael (1867-1951)
Good Master, free me from a penchant to love ‘softening things, easy choices, weakenings,’ anything that would promote a ‘silken self’ over being a warrior for Thee who welcomes scars that share the marks of my Savior.