How many scars do you have? Don’t Include the pimple marks or the ones from chickenpox in the count. I got a burn from my uncle’s motorcycle exhaust— first degree…second degree superficial…second degree deep was when I felt (!) the effect of the exhaust on my leg not knowingly pressed against the recently parked motorcycle. I wore mostly knee-high socks  in primary and secondary school because of it.  I have another scar on my neck. People with keen eyes used to ask if I had a thyroid operation.  I got it from slipping while attempting to go over our gate with iron spikes, in the hope of not being caught while playing hide and seek.  It has faded now though.  And then there’s my appendectomy scar which became a keloid scar. 

Scars form as part of the body’s way of healing when the wound has been deep enough. In the process though, normal skin  is replaced by fibrous tissue.  Many scars are flat, others are sunken, some can  just appear as stretched skin.  But a few would be raised and become really thick— the ones called  keloid scars which are due to exaggerated  response to the wound.   Exaggerated response to the wound and more so to our pain, may be the only problem about our scars.  And yes, it’s not just a reference to physical scars. 

A reckless word that broke our heart,  a critical comment that undermined our confidence, a loved one suddenly taken by force or by fate, abandonment, neglect, a slap on the face that can still make your fist clench, a denied opportunity, a broken promise, a broken dream (and add a broken plate to that Ninang!)… Scars that can be for Life.  And include the scars we caused ourselves— a tactless curse we uttered to the ones most dear to us, a mindless condescending judgment we blurted out of anger, a missed opportunity  to ever say “I Love you… I really loved you… and still…”  

These (I call) spiritual scars may keep us from taking risks, trusting, and loving again, or loving at all.  These painful memories  can make us dramatically anxious or sad that we cannot enjoy anything. Or  they can make us idly settle in Life afraid to do something bold and brave.  They can  hold us from working with utmost passion andf dedication, scared of failure or rejection.  (Are we still talking about scars Ninang?). That’s the Fault in our scars.  

Did you know Tattoos are actually scars? They are made by needles that can damage the skin deep enough and then inject ink into the dermis. A scar made by expert hands turns into a work of art. A scar made  by expert hands is a work of  heart.  When we allow our pain  to transform us to a wiser, kinder, and more loving person, we surrender to the expert hands of our Maker.  His “needle and ink” is bound to make you into His unique (unique!) and valuable precious  work of art.  Now,  be still.  (Ouch Ninang!).  You can be his finest work ever!

– Ninang tattoed thoughts

“Be still, and know that I am God.I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth!”  (Psalms 46:10)

“So God created man in his own image,in the image of God he created him;male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

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