Walking by Faith Alone

How beautiful are our scars to Him…

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 Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is a must for the Christmas Season. It is the perfect Daddy/daughter date or family outing. The Gainesville Ballet Company in Gainesville, Georgia just finished its production of the classic tale of the little girl Clara’s Christmas adventures in a mystical dreamland. Because my daughter is a dancer, I spend a great deal of time backstage with the other Moms doing the things Moms do.

I noticed a particular seasoned dancer who had just come from stage, her chest breathing rapidly in and out, perspiration on her forehead, laughing with her dance partner. How effortlessly he had lifted her and returned her to the stage to balance on the point of one foot. It reminded me of the music box dancer I had as a child.

As I continued to watch her, she  unwrapped the ribbons around her ankles and removed the pretty pink pointe shoes that adorned her feet. To the outside world, ballerinas are delicate with long thin arms and small features. They walk differently than most people, with a posed, straight-backed gait. Oh to be a ballerina – thin, graceful, lighter than air, beautiful…and then I saw her feet – calloused and red, swollen with almost a gnarled appearance.

“Do your feet hurt?” I asked intrusively.

Instinctively her hand fell, gripping the diameter of her foot, “Not really…anymore.” She smiled, “They look like they hurt, don’t they?”

Embarrassed, I didn’t know how to respond.

“It’s all part of it. The calluses actually help. I’d never get a pedicure.”

I remember when my son Bo was little, he and his buddy Bobby were eating lunch at the kitchen table talking about scars. Bobby told of his scars, each with an elaborate story, and Bo pointed out his to which both responded, “Cool!”

We all have them – wounds, scars, calluses from life’s battles. Some are visible to the outside world and some hidden beneath pretty pink ballet shoes. It is what we do with them that makes the difference. I’ve heard it said, “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.” In the right context, I believe that statement could be true.

Just by their very nature, scars tell the story of wounds which healed. The mark itself represents a time in our lives when something happened and we survived. On my finger I have a scar I got crabbing on St. Simons Island with Tracy Lou Lamb. Just below my knee, an accident playing war in a Magnolia tree with my brother. On the side of my neck from a surgery to remove suspicious lymph nodes and across the bottom of my belly, four c-sections to bring four of my six beautiful children into the world.

John 20:24, “Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.'”

Maybe he felt an impostor was trying to take the credit of the man he loved or could not bear the pain of it not being Him, for whatever reason, Thomas demanded verification and the one defining proof was the imprints of the horrific events which caused Jesus’ death.

But more than physical reminders of past wounds, many of us carry the pain of broken promises, rejection, loss, betrayal, and sin. We live day after day with battle marks on our heart and soul which forever change the way we view the world. Hidden behind pretty pink shoes, we dance and move as if the calluses of our past have no bearing on who we are.  They are however the very essence of who we are.

Matthew Henry, a great theologian wrote, “As the blood of his saints, and their deaths, are precious in the sight of the Lord, so are their tears, not one of them shall fall to the ground. ‘I have seen thy tears…’ He will remember them…God will not forget the sorrows of His people. The tears of God’s people are bottled up and sealed among God’s treasures…God will comfort His people according to the time wherein He has afflicted them, and give to those to reap in joy who sowed in tears. What was sown a tear will come up a pearl.”

Your struggles, the trials endured, the hurt inflicted can be the very catalyst to bring change in a world filled with anger, hurt, and grief. To God you are beautiful because you have endured. No need for a pedicure. The scars that mark your heart are precious to Him. Use them to be stronger, not just to survive. Use them to help others. To teach others. Turn what the enemy of your soul wanted to use to destroy into an avenue to defeat him. Turn it into a vessel for good.

1 Corinthians 1:4, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

December 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

One Response

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  1. Nora, Sandy posted this on FB, so I was blessed to read it. I wish you would put me on your FB list so I can benefit from your beautiful thoughts. I ran into your Dad at CVS in Dublin the day your marriage plans were changing, and he asked that I remember you. You have been in my prayers and thoughts many times over. It’s through our “scars” that we become stronger, dealing with things we had no idea that we could come through. My love and prayers are with you all this wonderful Christmas season. I am reminded that “the reason for the cradle was the cross.”

    Carol Weeks

    December 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm

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