Those stubborn spots. They just wouldn’t go.
I had tried a soft damp cloth and had wiped hard. And then with only slight reservation, I had whipped out the sponge, and using the rough side had scrubbed as vigorously as I could, but still they persisted. As a last resort, I had scraped at them with my fingernails. It was an all-out pursuit to recapture the original unscathed beauty. But it was not to be.
The storm had passed, and the scars were there. Not to be removed, no matter how hard I tried.
As I sat there with my damaged planner in hand, noticing the scratches that I had made in my attempt to restore it, I remembered why I had chosen it and even more why I had rescued it from the rubble of my home.
I have always loved planners, but could never justify the expensive ones that I left mostly unused. This one was different, simple and inexpensive with no frills or thrills, yet pretty and functional. There was no pressure to use it or impending guilt if I left it unused, just a welcoming invitation penned in gold across its soft delicate cover.
Despite the storm damage, those same words were still clearly visible amid the spots and scratches and once again held my attention.
Let love guide your heart,
Let GOD lead the way
Now, as I meditated on those words, my mind swirled and whirled with thoughts of scars and their untapped beauty. I thought about all the ways we collect scars and the extreme measures we often go through to rid ourselves of them. And I thought about the Love that never leaves our side.
Have you ever been wind-blasted? If you’ve been through any 'storms' in this life, you know you don’t come through untouched.
Following the passage of Hurricane Irma, the walls and floors in my home were covered with debris - broken banisters, planks of galvalume, splintered tree branches and upturned furniture. But beyond that obvious top layer that could be raked and cleared was a more insidious layer splatter-painted on the walls. Stuck right on. Leaves and other debris. A constant reminder of the force of wind that had pummeled us. A deep-set layer that is not easy to clean.
Isn’t it like that in our lives? With the deep layer of scars splatter-painted on our hearts caused by numerous 'storms'. It is this layer… the one we wish was not there… the one we hope no one sees… the one we can’t clean ourselves… it is this layer that makes us painfully aware of our need for a Saviour. A Saviour who sees the scars… the deep crusty layers… yet loves and accepts us as flawless.
So, as I look at my bruised planner, still beautiful and useful, I’m reminded of my scars -the ones caused by mistakes made, and plans gone askew, by loss lived out and fears unchallenged, and I see their beauty despite the pain. You see, these scars of mine pull my gaze back to my Saviour, the One who pulled me out of the rubble and saw beauty in me. The One who wiped me clean… a clean I feel already but not yet. The One who showers me with His 'all-consuming, heart-pursuing, Grace-extending, never-ending love'. A Love that surrounds me no matter what I’m going through, where I’ve been, or which scar I’m trying to scrub away.
This week as we list out what we are thankful for, I pray that we don’t forget our scars, for as much as they keep us dependent on our Saviour’s love and faithfulness, they are still beautiful and useful.