TobyMac has a song called Scars (Come with Livin’) that has been playing in my head for a while now. Michael recently preached a sermon on scars and we have been helping some of our kids through past hurts that have built up scars. It seems lately every where I turn scars seem to be in front of me. The thing about scars is they are a reminder of the hurt we have experienced. Truth be told, I want to forget the hurts, and I wish to take away the hurts my children have had. I wish I could take them all away and carry the scars for them. Honestly, it’s a tricky balance of forgiveness and not holding a grudge against those who have caused such deep hurt.
Michael and I are outside people and we enjoy doing things that get us moving. I’ve written about running, but we also enjoy bike riding. We are new to the sport, and have crummy mountain bikes, but we have found that we love where biking can take us, which is so much farther and faster than running. One day, we decided to go on a trail that was new to us, but we hadn’t factored in all the rain we had gotten the night before. We thought it would be okay since it is a paved trail. We pumped our tires, put on our helmets, I put on my new gloves my son got me for my birthday, set our phones to a bike ride and off we went. We were on this trail cruising along, wind in our faces and feeling so free. We were on our way back with under 5 miles to home when we came upon a boardwalk type bridge. I was in the lead and slowed down knowing the boards could be slicker than the pavement. This bridge was a bit longer than others and had a curve in the middle and as soon as I hit that curve my bike slid out from under me and I went skidding the opposite way. Michael was right on my tail so he bailed off his bike jumping towards the railing. My knees and legs got scraped up, my hands were sore and I was shaken up but felt okay to sit a minute and continue onto home. As we rode on, my left hand kept hurting worse and worse. I had gloves on so I didn’t think much of it but by the time we got home I just wanted to get those gloves off. As I tried to get the glove off, it was stuck between my knuckles. I slowly pulled it off through gritted teeth and realized that I had a pretty deep cut. (PSA: this is why we wear gloves while riding) This cut took months to heal. It was a constant reminder of my wipeout. Today there is a scar to continue reminding me of that day.
The scar on my hand is a good scar, it reminds me to be adventurous and to live every day fully. The scars our family has from living are harder to be happy about. We should look at them positively, but that is harder to do than a physical scar. The scar on my hand brings memories of a fun bike ride and the moments surrounding the crash. The emotional scars bring up memories of deep hurts that we all would rather forget.
Jesus has scars and those scars mean salvation for you and me. He got those scars through showing great humility, love and forgiveness. This is my prayer for our family, that we can wear our scars knowing we have learned humility and to love and forgive. The road to healing is a long road, filled with brokenness and lots and lots of bumps along the way. In writing this, I want to encourage you if you are walking a bumpy road filled with hurts. Forgiveness is freeing and we need to let our scars be reminders of God’s great love for us. You are not alone. I am not alone. We are together on this road filled with hurt, brokenness, tears and redemption.
For those of you that like completeness in stories, my bike crash resulted in a broken bike. I broke the gear shifter. The bike shop wanted me to buy a new bike, but that wasn’t in the budget. They also wanted me to do a complete tune-up, also not in the budget. The $17 easy fix was in the budget and has gotten me back on the road. As I am literally typing this I see the analogy of how eager I was to get back on the road after my crash. I should be just as eager to get back into relationships. Let’s not let our scars make us quit living, rather to get back on our bikes and feel the wind in our faces.