Blog 1707 – 05.25.2020
On Scars, Blemishes, & Brokenness
I think to some degree we all think ourselves limited by our scars, blemishes, and brokenness, but then I believe it is the cracks in our facade that allow the inner light within us to shine out making our world a better brighter place. We are way more than the battles we have fought, won or lost, our scars, our blemishes and our brokenness complete our wholeness and holiness, hallelujah.
The Apostle Paul wrote in one of his most inspired moments that we have this treasure in earth vessels that the excellency might be of God. Some think the picture he was trying to portray with those poetic sounding words was of the clay lamps of his day filled with oil proving a smokey flame when lit. But, the first time I read those words I pictured something more like a lantern, perhaps a candle enclosed in a ceramic housing with holes and cracks in it to allow the light to shine out.
We often have a tendency to feel traumatized, and defeated by our battle brokenness and scars but they are more aptly our medals for bravery and service. The illusion of flawlessness is true for no one, not even him whom some worship as “without blemish.” In the end of his earthly story did not even he openly reveal his own wounds and scars to one doubting Thomas in particular? A favorite children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit has for it’s theme, Love Makes You Real, but I also submit to you that it is our scars, our blemishes, and our brokenness that make and keep us real.
The Velveteen Rabbit
Apart from the products of the billion dollar cosmetics industry and the even more lucrative clothing (costume) industry, we many of us wear expensive and life-long personally constructed masks to hide what we think are our flaws but which are in reality our medals, our birth, and life marks. I have long believed that far from helping that the massaged portrayals of our great heroes that leave out many or most of their flaws and weaknesses, paint unreal portraits leaving us not only full of impossible expectations for ourselves but a real misunderstanding of what it means to be a true hero.
True heroes are not perfect, no one is, nor should we even want to be. True heroes are like truly beautiful homes (not necessarily the Better Homes & Garden variety), lived in, with furniture and furnishing nicked and cracked, bent and well, broken in. In a somewhat obscure and mostly forgotten nineteen seventies movie called Logan’s Run in a future world where people live in a big domed city they are only allowed to live to the age of thirty. Some no longer at home in that touted to be perfect world, escape the city and in the outside overgrown world find an aged man in his sixties or seventy. One of the young women marvels at the beauty of his lined and wrinkled face saying that all other faces seem the same, just plain and not fully formed, while his is uniquely beautiful.
Beauty may indeed be, as the saying goes, “In the eye of the beholder.” But, appearances aside it is love and experience that make us real and they both always leave a mark. Wear those medals proudly.
Your friend and fellow traveler,