Just recently my husband accidentally burnt me with a cigar. He doesn't smoke them often, but when you are in Cuba it is hard not to have a go. In his haste of looking at things in a market we were in, he forgot he was given a cigar and that it was in his hand. He turned toward me and the cigar went straight into my arm. It really hurt and I walked around the rest of the day with an ice cold water bottle on my arm. But we did laugh. It was such an accident and he felt so bad, I could only see the funny side of it, knowing my husband. I took a photo of it and sent it to the kids straight away.
He felt so bad he kept asking me how I was and it was fun to play on it a bit. After a few hours it was fine, but it was going to leave a scar for sure.
For the next 7 days afterward, it was still looking really sore, so I started putting pure vitamin E oil on it each night. It is amazing stuff and each morning I would wake up and couldn't believe the difference in the healing simply in one night.
I joked with Dave, that I considered leaving it and not putting the healing balm on it, so I would be scarred for life and when people asked what it was, I would have a good story of my husband burning me with a cigar. Or worse I could play on it and get his sympathy and guilt for the rest of my life with a scar like that. At one point it was looking better and then I bumped it and it started to bleed again, that was a good time to let David know what he done to me….. again.
But, instead after 3 weeks it was completely gone, simple by putting the right healing balm on it each night.
After 35 years of being together, believe me there are deeper scars we both carry, more painful than a cigar burn. It made me think about the scars we carry on the inside and the outside and how quickly they can become the story we hold onto for all the wrong reasons.
It is a choice what we do with our burns or the painful experiences. We can carry them like an open, painful scar, in order to guilt or shame the one who caused it. We can choose for it to become our victim story, the battle scars we get to tell anyone who will listen, for sympathy or attention. We can chose to use the battle scars as excuses to not venture out and try new things as they are dangerous. We can choose to look at our scars and hold anger and bitterness, that if someone can do that to me, then I can do it to someone else.
Or we can choose to seek the healing balm that not only takes the pain away, but in some cases can make all things new as if it never happened.
For many of our deep inner scars it will take more that "Pure Vitamin E oil", but I do know that with the right healing balm all things are possible. The hardest part is the choice, to walk towards healing and not in the other direction. I want to say that there is even more that is possible. When the healing has become so complete that it is not just healed, but has become something more beautiful. Like the refiners fire, more beauty is found only once something has gone through the fire and come out the other end. But it doesn't have to stop there either, for when that healed scar is so strong it is able to help others who are wounded, it becomes a gift and privilege. This has been my experience over the last 20 years with many of my scars, although I have many more I am working on.
The greatest gift is that we don't have to do this alone. Christ has been my healing balm, for the deep inner hurts that simply come with life. But I know that the key on my part is to CHOOSE to lean into Him and be willing to use the correct healing balm and to use it regularly. That is why Dave and I can joke about a cigar burn, because we know the real healing power of Jesus’ grace and love and forgiveness in our own lives and in our marriage and it is truly a gift.
So what do you do with your scars?