The pain of the past

I have a scar on my right knee. I got the scar when I was about 10 years old (give or take a few years). I was visiting family in Michigan, and we were staying with my grandparents. Their house was at the bottom of a slight incline – an incline just steep enough to ride down on a skateboard. But I was no Terry Kennedy…far from it…and that scar on my right knee reminds me of it every day. I learned that, if you’re a novice skateboarder, riding downhill with no protective gear is probably not a good idea.

I have a scar on the outer edge of my right wrist. I got this scar when I was somewhere between 5-7 years old. I had this cute little 2-piece cup set that was designed to look like a bear. The actual cup was dark brown with a light brown oval in the middle (to represent the body), and the top was the head (with a spot for a straw). For reasons that only a 5-7 year old could comprehend, I had filled this cup with water and walked out onto the back porch to empty it. One of my older brothers, for reasons that only an older brother could comprehend, decided to lock me out. Though it was summer, the storm window had not yet been replaced with a screen. But I was a child and didn’t consider this before my next action: banging on the door with all my might. When I look at that scar, I’m reminded of that cute little teddy bear cup, my first trip to the emergency room and first time getting stiches. I even remember the neighbor across the street from my grandparents’ house – a lovely woman who was a nurse and removed my stiches with a butterknife when it was time. I learned that banging on a glass window with all your might is not very smart.

I have plenty more scars with stories behind them, but I’ll save those for my tell-all autobiography (haha!). My point is one that I shared with our ResLife team this morning in a devotional: every scar has a story and a lesson connected to it. This can be said of physical scars as well as emotional scars. As Rafiki demonstrates to Simba in scene 19 of The Lion King, the past may hurt – but the least we can do is learn from it.

Consider the scars from your past (whether physical or emotional). What lessons did you learn from them?