Remember the story of a certain ornery little twelve-year old boy, who showed up at school one morning with an impressive shiner? His black eye was truly a thing of brutal beauty. Upon greeting him, his teacher immediately noticed and asked him in horror, “Who gave you such a terrible black eye?!” His proud response, “Heck, Ma’am, they don’t just go ‘round givin’ these things away. Ya’ gotta fight for ‘em.”

Anyone out there who doesn’t have scars…somewhere? Scars can serve as a physical record of some of the things we have done. Granted, some scars are the result of a hobby or an interest, but these marks are definitely not proof of fun at the exact moment when you got them. On the contrary, scars come from a time of pain – even if you were involved in something enjoyable at the time.

All of us probably have scars that are signatures from our past. Some scars may be the result of a foolishly impulsive attempt at something best left untried. Others could be a result of a serious accident that left an unforgettable imprint on your body. Or you may have a scar from having a life-saving or life-changing surgery. But folks, it shows the world that you chose to live, accepting the scar in the exchange.

Andy has proof of various events in his life. The mark left on his face while chasing a basketball through a barbed wire during a wild game at home – proof. Lots of work-related scars – yet more proof. The one on his right foot he acquired while skinny-dipping as a kid. Others exist that he prefers to not talk about. (A story best alone for another time.)

For most of us, the physical scars we bear usually are not still causing us pain. They are simply reminders of what we have done in our yesterdays. But that kind of scarring, the kind that is visible, is not the only ones we carry. Most of us have unseen scars that keep hurting.

The scars of the heart.

The death of a loved one, a divorce, the forced distancing from someone who means the world to you. Loss of a business that you have poured your life into. These cause hurt that can leave a scar that changes you and your world…. forever. And it’s going to demand a time of emotional pain, confusion, and acceptance before you can recover and move on with your life – with one more scar as a testimony that “You indeed have lived.”

How you live with those scars, and continue to walk on bearing that proof of life – that will take determination, a sense of humor, and faith in your Creator.

Scars. They are your proof of having had pain in your life, along with the pleasures. But at least, they show that you have lived, not just existed.

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