Why Baring Your Scars Means Real Actual Freedom

Why Baring Your Scars Means Real Actual Freedom

I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

{PSALM 139:11-12}

Today is about reflection. At the end of this second week in our word study, I want you to spend some time reflecting on what the Lord has shown you. I will share my reflection about what I am learning about why baring our scars means real and actual freedom.

So remember your doubts and show proudly your scars. Let the sound of your cries write a song in your heart…May we never lose in the light what we found in the dark. – Lyrics by Dominic Balli, Paul Duncan

What is it about the lighting in a department store dressing room that makes me want to chuck all the clothes out the door and high-tail-it outta there? Fifteen or so garments hung on hooks, waiting to be tried on. I had found the perfect dress, except for one thing—with the thin straps I would never be able to hide the large scar on my right shoulder—the one engraved twenty-four years ago after an auto accident.

I had seen the dermatologist who talked about steroid injections and laser therapy. I had heard it all before, only this time desperation won me over. The pain of the scar was more than skin deep. I had delayed the treatment because I did not want to face the discomfort.

During my first treatment, lying back on that exam table with my shoulder bare I felt more exposed than ever. I braced myself with white-knuckled vulnerability. The doctor had to remind me to just breath.

I remained on that table voluntarily because I knew that the outcome far outweighed the discomfort of the moment. And suddenly I was very aware of the Lord’s presence.

He gave me an image in my mind…
How he laid himself down upon the beams to have nails driven into his hands and his feet.
How he endured nakedness, mocking, spitting, insults, and shame.

As I braced myself anticipating the next shot, I remembered Jesus’s sacrifice for me. Involuntary tears burst from deep within.

Each injection was a searing attempt to get below the surface of my scar, to infuse a potion that would soften and heal the hardened flesh. Years of memories pierced through me as the pain reflected my past.

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” {Ezekiel 36:26}

Being open and vulnerable is frightening and sometimes painful. At times I avoid opportunities to share my story with others because it can feel like opening old wounds. This kind of vulnerability makes one aware of the scars in a life that was broken and busted. But I have been learning that it is the scars in your story that point others to hope and healing.

The life of Jesus would radically suggest: Don’t advertise your beautiful faith without advertising your broken-down faults — because those broken-down faults are the exact reason why you need your beautiful faith. –Ann Voskamp

The gospel account of John describes the moment when the risen Christ reveals his resurrected self to his disciples. First, Jesus showed his friends his scars. He held out his hands and put Thomas’s hand into the wound in his side. The proof of his scars revealed the power of God in Christ to bring life from death and the divine transformation that occurred because of his suffering

Just as he does with us. He restores us in the midst of our pain to produce lasting transformation. Jesus’s resurrection is the same power that raises us from the dead of our past to bring us into new life.

Some will hear the gospel and draw back fearing that in the light of Jesus, the Son of God will expose their faults. They had worked so hard to keep them hidden. So in an attempt to cover themselves in their nakedness they put on clothes of shame and regret.

But if we do not bare our scars—both to Christ and to one another—we deprive each other the opportunity to experience God’s glory and grace to bring us back from the graves we were in.

This is true victory in Christ: that we bare our scars without shame. That we proclaim with boldness what God has done for us so that others may find the courage to come with their scars and receive healing and freedom to walk in faith.

Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. {2 Corinthians 12:9}


Spend some time today reflecting on what you have learned through the word study this week on theme “hidden”. Write down your thoughts in a journal.

What have you learned about hiding Vs. being hidden in Christ?

Have you found another scripture that blessed you? What is it?

Share with some one else who needs encouragement. Then please share in the comments below!

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  1. Dad

    Again your message is timely, or perhaps it is God’s timeliness. Certainly your gift and ministry are a blessing to your weary Dad. I recently had to bare my scars before a trusted clergy to seek a solution to an old Mill Stone that has been a long time persistent hindrance to spiritual growth in my life. True to your message I was given light to see the path to freedom, however I am required to take the steps towards victory over this old barrier to fullness in my relationship with Christ. This may be a little off topic but I have learned that old foes can be deeply entrenched and require obedience to and time in the Word to brake down the old fortress to make room for the newness of Christ’s healing.

    1. I am humbled that God would use my words to bless my own Dad! That’s proof right there that it is His timing. And I think you are right about the last thing you said–not off topic, at all. Dealing with our scars does require intention and time; it is a painful process to break down the old and make room for the new. Praise God he is faithful to complete the work in us as we obey. I love you Dad!


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