Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
  • Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
  • Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
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    Soul Rythem

    Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner

    I confess that I don’t really understand tattoos. I hear they are painful and they last a lifetime and they cost money. Well, I have some marks on my skin that are painful and carry lifetime reminders of getting them. There’s one on my foot from when I fell down running in sandals in kindergarten. There’s a quarter-sized one on my knee from when tomboy-me tried to ride my bike to the store with a flat tire after my mother warned me not to. There’s one under my chin from when I literally fell on my face as a girl. I got each of them for free, but that does not mean I did not pay a price. I endured the embarrassment, shame, guilt, humiliation and more. Each scar cost me something and they taught me something, as well.

    Amani, my 5-year-old niece, whenever she sees me, will show me her scars from a fall at school, an injury at the park, or an incident from a week ago. The wound may be nearly healed and show no evidence of present pain. It may be covered over with hard crusty scab that has all but faded. But she wants me to see the wound and to see where she was hurt so that I can somehow empathize with her and feel her pain. And I do. I kiss it. I caress it. I put my hand where it happened as a way to share in the incident, even though I was not there, did not commit it, nor can I actually feel it.

    What she’s saying, without even knowing it, is that she survived a bad thing and lived to tell about it. She’s showing that she fell down, but got up again. I hope I can remind her of that. That this thing is an example that even though you go down, you can get up again. And even though you have the scars to show it, they are not testimonies of defeat, rather they are testimonies of your survival despite the injury. Praise be to God that the scars don’t mean that it’s over, they mean I have survived.

    That’s what Christ did. The resurrected Christ kept His scars. They were His identifiers, His markers that proved to the disciples, and Thomas specifically, that He was who He said He was and that He had been through what they heard He went through – and get this – He lived to tell about it. That’s what scars do.

    Perhaps the most dangerous of scars are those we cannot see. The ones that hurt the heart, that strike the soul and that cripple the spirit. There’s no Mercurochrome, no bandage, and no boo-boo kiss that heals them away. In fact, their real peril lies in the fact that they are inconspicuous to the average eye; they require real discernment. And because they can be so easily camouflaged, they often go unattended.

    Today I’m going to take time to tend to those internal scars, because they too help define the me I have become.

    Lord, I have to thank you today for keeping the scars. When you revealed yourself to those disciples, you showed them the scars and that’s how they recognized you. You bared the scars. That’s where we nailed you. That’s where we pierced you. That’s where we attempted to do you in once and for all. And as we were doing that, you were all the while praying for us and making a way for us so that we would not be left to make our way to hell. All the while we were piercing you, you were going away to prepare a place for us to be with you. All the while we were slamming you, you were opening it up for us. And you have the scars to show it.

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    Rev. Dr. Cynthia T. Turner, pastor of the Dayspring Community Church in Lanham, MD,  occasionally writes about the “Righteous Mind” on the Soul Rhythms blog. Click here to read other pieces by Rev. Turner.

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