Scars.  Most of us have them and they often have stories that go with them.  I have lots of friends who have scars on knees/shoulders/elbows who tell stories of sports injuries.  I have a friend with scars on his knees, fingers, hands and torso who has a story of electrocution and near death.  I have a scar from surgery, another from an encounter with the corner of a picnic table, one from a deep knife cut and a few others.  They are visible and they come with stories.

Then there are the invisible scars.  These are the scars that alter our lives unlike any visible scar.  They pierce us in our heart, in our souls, in the deepest recesses of our being.  There is certainly physical manifestations of these scars.  You see them in tears, in dead eyes, through the bottle of alcohol and in many other places.  These scars hurt so severely that nothing of this world can stem the intense pain.

Josh Ross writes in Scarred Faith about a man who survived the Rwandan genocide of the 90’s.  The man said, “I’m a pastor.  Now I give my entire life to immigrants in Nashville, helping them to transition linguistically, educationally, professionally, and relationally.  I look out for them, the same way others looked out for me.  Once you’ve suffered…once you’ve been swallowed up in pain, you can’t help but want to see the pain and suffering of others alleviated.  And when you see the pain and suffering of others lifted – you feel alive in a way that is more real than weed, speed, cocaine, alcohol, gambling, and even sex.”  That is God’s dream for us in this world.  It always has been.

The scars of losing a family were going to start a journey that would last longer than I could imagine and drive me closer to God than I knew possible.

Grace and peace.