Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scars

by Melanoma Prayer Center on Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 12:33pm ·

One of my all-time, favorite Disney movies is The Lion King. I love the story, the circle-of-life theme, the music...can we say "Hakuna Matata?" And, yes, I love the characters. Mufasa, Simba, Nala. Scar. I love Scar. While it's true that Scar is full of evil and malice, he plots and kills his brother Mufasa, Scar is a scarred soul and he wears his scars for all the world to see. One is above an eye; others are seared into his heart and personality. I'm not going to make excuses for Scar's nasty behavior and I can't attribute it to great screen writers because there's a little (or a lot) of Scar in us all. We may not plot murder and mayhem, but we do all carry our scars of life with us. Some are visible to others and some are internal. We all have both kinds.

One of my favorite movie lines comes from Scar. I would often quote it to my children, when necessary, in my best Scar voice, "Life's not fair!" (And the choir said "AMEN!") We know that though, don't we? GOD is always just and fair, even when we don't understand; but life...well, sometimes life can be overwhelming. Difficult. Make us cry. Make us question. Make us holler that Life's Not fair! Cancer isn't fair. Melanoma isn't fair. It's not "fair" that children get it. It's not "fair" when teens get it. It's not "fair" when I get it...even when I dared melanoma to kick me and it did...it's not fair. It's not fair when it threatens my life AND leaves scars.

Scars for everyone to see. Scars that make people hide their faces, avert their eyes, make me cry at their repulsion. Scars that divulge my journey to strangers. Scars that will heal and fade over time, but scars that I will still carry in my heart. In my own case, my scars are hidden by a compression sleeve because I quickly developed lymphedema in my left arm. My sleeve-covered scars lead to stares and questions...uncomfortableness on the part of others...

Scars that can make us feel ugly, doubt if anyone will or can love us, make us doubt our self-worth.

And then there's God! God calls out to us through all our doubts, fears, tears, frustrations, anguish, those emotional & psychological & spiritual scars...and God looks past our physical scars...and the Lord Who creates us calls us "beautiful!" "made in His image!" "the apple of His eye!" "His own!"

1 Samuel 16: 7 (The Message):
But God told Samuel, "Looks aren't everything. Don't be impressed with his looks and stature. I've already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart."

We like to impress people. We like to catch people's eyes. We like to be noticed, flattered, dress nicely, look good. While that's human, it can also be superficial, shallow, and dangerous.

God knows our scars, those seen and unseen. We look at, cry about, cover the seen scars. God bypasses them and looks straight into our hearts!

Our worth is not determined by scars! Or bald heads! Or IVs! Or drainage tubes! Our worth is not determined by how well we cover up those things we wish to hide!

We have worth, beauty, value because we are made in God's image, because He loves us regardless of what the world sees, and because we are His. He chose to become flesh for YOU! He chose to live a while on this earth for YOU! He chose to die for YOU! And He chose to conquer everything in this world that produces scars, visible and invisible, for YOU! And that includes melanoma!

We can rejoice with Job (19: 25) that "I know my Redeemer lives."
We can echo the Psalmist in 34: 22 "But the LORD will redeem those who serve him. No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned."
We can live into Paul's advice to the church at Rome in Romans 12: 2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
We can live into Paul's word to the Galatians in 6: 15-16 It doesn't matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God's peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.

May God take your scars, all your scars, and redeem them and transform them. May they be used by Him in ways you cannot imagine! May your scars tell your story, be a witness to help others, and be a visual reminder of God's grace in your life.

Lord, in Your mercy, You have chosen to allow melanoma into my life and while I would rather not have it or have the accompanying scars, I do. Transform my attitude towards all of this. Take the brokenness I can feel and remind me that I'm clay, You're Living Water, and wash over me and make me beautiful! Take my life, my story, my pain and my scars and use them all to Your glory. Give unholy things a holy purpose. Thank You God. Amen.