Friday, March 25, 2016

Of Scarred Hands and Wounded Feet

You're not strong enough. 

You're not trying hard enough. 

You must have done something wrong. 

You deserved this. 

These are the messages we hear, day in and day out. The admirable qualities of self-reliance, working hard, and trying again becomes twisted into one of prideful judgment: 

If you need help, you’re weak.

So we hide our flaws. We all have them – the little (and sometimes big) addictions that follow us throughout our day; the emotional and physical trauma of relationships; temptations of greed and gluttony, vanity and vulgarity. But because we hear that little voice – if you need help, you’re weak – we pretend they don’t exist, convinced that even acknowledging them is shameful. But in those quiet moments, in those early morning hours of desperation, when we can see nothing but our scars and feel nothing but our pain, we despairingly admit:

I'm broken.

These harrowing hours leave us lost and alone, and as our despair threatens to consume us, we feel forsaken. 

But our bruised bodies and wounded souls do not define us – they redeem us. They redeem us in the only way that pride can be broken – by humbling us. Pretending to be perfect by hiding our flaws denies the power of the atonement, and it is through admitting our flaws, our cracks, and our weaknesses that we can be made whole. The directive to be ye therefore perfect is not one we were meant to accomplish alone. Our Father wants our broken hearts so He can make them perfect – not because of what we can do, but because of what He can do. Christ’s atonement makes us one, bringing us back to our Father and allowing Him to restore what we cannot. 

We are not saved because we are perfect; we are saved because He was. 

Christ endured exquisite pain out of pure love, suffering for our sins, sicknesses, and sorrows, 
and His pain is our most glorious gift. But the Resurrected Christ did not appear without blemish or flaw. In his perfection, He bore scars. His pain made Him pure. He stands triumphant on wounded feet, and He lifts with scarred hands. 

We may be afraid to admit that we need help, feeling ashamed of our scars and our wounds, but our flaws are not news to our Father. He has watched us throughout our lives, celebrating in our achievements, crying out in our pain, and grieving in our sorrows. He knows we are wounded, and He knows we are scarred.

But, like Christ, in our scars we can be perfect, and in our wounds we can be pure as we hand our broken souls to Him to mend.

So yes, I'm broken. But I'm not forsaken. The burden of my bruised soul and wounded heart is not mine to carry alone. Christ stands ready 
– scarred and wounded and redemptive  and lifts me when I can't stand.

In Him, I am whole.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, 
he was bruised for our iniquities: 
the chastisement of our peace was upon him; 
and with his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

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