Beautifully flawed

We were cleaning up the kitchen, these hilarious sisters and mom and I.
Mom in her pink gloves at the sink, the rest of us buzzing around drying dishes and putting stuff away.

 Somehow the subject of scars came up and my sister said,
“They are so unique, and personal…”
Something to be proud of, really.
I finger a scar, and remember how it got there.
A story, all my own.

Like the time, just a few months ago, when I wanted to be noble.
To help my amazingly hard working husband just a little.
No, I can’t last all day screwing metal on a roof in the blistering sun.
Or assemble the dizzying network of 2x4s that suddenly create a lovely building, fresh and new.
I repeat, I simply can’t. I send along lunches, love notes, and endless prayers for safety.
But the work department, I’m just not much help.

But this one day, he just had to go pick up garage doors.
I mean, how simple. And I could lend him a hand.
Well, the tender, uncalloused hand that I lent him got caught, under the raw edge of the metal door.
It got gouged, deeply.
And there I stood, instead of being a big help, with my hand above my white face,
my wide eyes watching deep red drip, drip, drip onto the rough concrete below. I felt like fainting.
Such a help.

But the scar, it lives on. I still feel the pull when I stretch the finger all the way.
The pulling, the scar, and the story.
Of the day I wanted to help, and he ended up bandaging me and sticking me back in the truck,
while he finished loading the doors. Alone.

Because I was an incredibly curious 5 year old,
I lost the tip on one finger on the top step of an escalator.
Nail, flesh, bone; everything. A clean amputation, actually.
My children have been throughly informed of the dangers of those little sliding steps.
With wary eyes, they keep their tiny fingers far from the hungry little teeth below their feet.

Another friend watches carefully in the flu season that her children are not around
those who have that tell tale cough.

Another friend’s baby nearly drowned in the bathtub, or actually did,
and God did the impossible, and breathed life back into her after far too long.
But the bathtub is regarded as a danger, something to be careful of.
The list goes on and on. It’s these filters of personal experience.

I think of my circle of friends, each individual and special.
Each with a history just her own, with memories and experiences that I have not had.
We respond to life differently. We raise our children differently.
We might even wear different kinds of clothes.
Because we are each different, and viewing life through different sets of filters.
It’s because “To be human is to be beautifully flawed.”

Image

But I look past these faces and see the scars, ones hidden and of shame,
ones of courage and strength that came from hard times faced valiantly.
Our scars are badges of who we used to be, and the person God is making us into.

Beautifully flawed. Imagine.
How can God take these flaws, these weaknesses, these experiences that brought only pain,
and make beauty from them?

Amazing that God chose to make us from dust.
Flesh is soft, vulnerable to injury.
We could have been made out of iron, strong, hard, unbreaking.
But He choose the beauty of vulnerability.

God looks down at me, and at you, and sees us IN our flaws, and loves us.
He sees possibilities. He sees hope. He sees promises just waiting to come to life.

 My mind flashes to that breathtaking illustration that Tim shared in the
simple block church building in Honduras.
His arms stretched wide, he said, “This is the posture Jesus lived in.”
Heart bared, vulnerable, unprotected.
Then crossing his arms over his chest, “Not like this, in self protection.”
What would Jesus have had to give me if he had shielded his heart from pain,
from the pain of my rejection, the undeserving abuse?

Nothing.

Tonight, I am so grateful that Jesus was willing to be scarred.
Willing to let his heart be broken.
Willing to be rejected. Spit on. Killed.
That he was willing to be soft, hurt, broken.

So that we could have a real life pattern.

Scars cut deep into our flesh, they remind us of our weakness.
Of His healing.
And of hope.

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5 thoughts on “Beautifully flawed

  1. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this touching post, giving me more of an appreciation for Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and life of pain and suffering – for us. Praise the Lord for His eternal scars that lend us life and joy. Forever. Psalm 16

  2. My breath got caught in my throat a few times, tears brimming… I’m always moved by what you write. I have spent years without accepting the scars in my life, and now I finally find them healing, but I still have my arms crossed across my chest… I’m not there yet, not soft and vulnerable… but I know I want it so that I can fully LIVE.

  3. and just a P.S.

    Here in Japan, we LIVE on elevators and escalators alike. Last year, Emma’s whole arm got pinched in the elevator door of our apartment. Now I fear them, and I watch her closely, but her fear is already gone. She runs up to them and knocks on them and eagerly waits for them to open up to take us home…

    Last year I was coming down and escalator and my stroller got stuck at the bottom for probably twenty seconds… People were piling up behind me and one person was just pushed on top of me because those things don’t stop, they just keep descending (or ascending, you know). Needless to say, I have developed a healthy respect for them.

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