By Bishop Jonathan Holston
“Look at my hands and my feet. It’s really me! Touch me and see…As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet.” —Luke 24: 39-40 (CEB)
I’m guessing that everyone has a scar story. In some peculiar way, they help shape us and serve as a visible reminder.
I believe there is a story behind every scar. Some are painful, and others are humorous. Some are significant, and others not so much. Some are filled with shame, while others are full of pride.
For me, it is the scar on my thumb from a broken spoke in an umbrella. The scar beneath my eyelid is from an opponent’s elbow in a basketball game. The scar by my temple is from a removal of a lipoma. The scar on my knee is from the recent joint replacement surgery. Then there is the scar on my left wrist from a childhood accident.
All of these scars tell a story. They suggest to me that I am less than perfect. In fact, we are all a work in progress.
So where are your scars?
I have learned there are no perfect parents, perfect children or perfect people. We can only do our best, and we all need help every once in a while. Hank Aaron spoke of not being perfect in this way, namely, “It took me 17 years to get 3,000 hits in baseball, and I did it in one afternoon on the golf course!” Even in the culmination of the 2015 NCAA basketball post-season called “March Madness,” our attention was geared to the possibility of perfection. While Duke University was the ultimate tournament winner, we discovered that nobody’s perfect, and Wisconsin made sure of it in its defeat of the unbeaten team from Kentucky.
I believe that there is such a desire for perfection that it has created a propensity to be “people pleasers.” Recently, I found a quote from Herbert Bayard Swope. He said, “I can’t give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: Try to please everybody all the time.”
In Micah 6:8, a question is asked and answered for all of us “people-pleasers” with the scars of life. Simply, “What does the Lord require of you?” The answer: “to act justly and to love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”
Without exception, there is a story behind every scar. They tell a story of our lives.
A friend of mine, Darrell Huccaby, tells a story of his family vacation in Washington, D.C. One morning as his family was eating breakfast, a homeless man approached them, and he purposely tried not to make eye contact. He noticed another man dressed for the workday purchasing his breakfast. This same homeless man approaches him. This individual motions for him to take a seat. He proceeds to separate the Styrofoam takeout box to form two plates. He divides his one breakfast into both plates and gives a plate to the homeless guy.
As Darrell observed this random act of kindness and remembers his own unwillingness to help, he said about this homeless guy, “I could almost see the scars.”
Friends, It was nothing short of amazing!