Scarred but Beautiful

 

IMG_2047“We all have our scars––most gained by foolishness,

but the ones that count come from putting another’s safety above our own.” c.e.hollis

 

 The Shape of Us

By Elece Hollis

Every leaf on every tree, every plant and flower bears its unique difference and yet is recognizable. With the help of a field guide to trees, we can tell most any tree by its leaf. These leaves are begonia––each alike, and yet each possessing a set of unique characteristics. Look at  them––the veins, the colors, the edges, and the tears.

Every leaf is an individual of the plant colored by its soil and nutrients, healthy or pale, large or small, and each bears eventually some scars. We tend to want every leaf to be perfect and fit. We tend to call out for the boldest, the softest, the youngest, the straightest, the curviest. We tend to call beautiful what is the brightest, the slightest, the largest, the smallest (hypocrites we).

We call the finest and prettiest what has the least blemishes, the smallest and faintest scars. We don’t like our scars, our wrinkles, our gray hairs, our freckles. Oh, but aren’t they what makes us who we are? Don’t they show how much life we have experienced?

Jesus chose to keep his scars. His hands still have the marks where the nails were hammered through. Those scars are beautiful. True, many of our scars are there because we did foolish things or because another hurt us. Jesus’s scars are there because He loved us so. It’s the same love that chose to create each of us an original, each shape of us unique, and all of nature touched with the lovely essence of his hand.

 

The Star, the Moon, and a Father
 
I drove home late and the night sky was clear. It had been a long day full of activity and I was enjoying the quiet. A star low in the sky caught my attention. It seemed to move along with me through the night just as fast as my car moved. The great distance between that star and myself made it appear to glide beside me—an illusion.
It called to mind riding in the spacious back seat of the yellow and white Pontiac Dad used to drive. Coming home late at night from the lake or from Grandma’s house, we were all quiet—tired and quiet. The baby was asleep in Mama’s lap—no one talked. We were tuckered out and headed home.
I saw the moon in the summer sky seeming to skim the treetops and race through the open spaces moving along as fast as the car moved. Kent and I watched it. He was alarmed by it. It seemed too close and too huge. I watched it, big and round and butter-colored traveling along steady beside us. It never went ahead or lagged behind.
Asphalt thrummed beneath the old car with the beat and song of the road. Wind swept through the rolled down windows. The night was warm and peaceful.
The moon was like a father running beside his child’s bicycle rooting for him to make his first wobbly ride. “Keep pedaling! Watch ahead! Straight now, steady! You can do it!”
 The star and that moon are like God there running beside me, encouraging me, hoping I will remember what he has taught me, guiding me forward toward the goal—his arms stretched toward me wanting me to succeed, wanting to help, but restraining himself for my sake.
Even now that I am grown as a Christian and should be able to keep things under control and drive straight and steady down any road, He is there like the silent radiant moon gliding through the sky—distant, but very close. Not ahead, not behind, but beside me.
He speaks to me gently on the wind through the night in the dark places of life and the bright—encouraging me.
Like a star, the moon, a loving father—Emmanuel—God with us.

And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matt. 1:23 kjv