Scars That Burn

Battle scars, we all got ‘em. The marks that allow us to share stories, some now funny, others not so much about our lives. The deepest scars may not be visible to the naked eye, but those are the ones still pulsing with pain. Riddled with insecurities and anxiety, no one would ever understand or care.

Recently I burnt my hand. It stung horribly ice wouldn’t even help. We’ve all felt the burn. Some of us may even have scars from our burns. I know I could point to a few. Even if we weren’t scarred by our burns outwardly, our minds got a scar, one to be used as a future reference so we don’t burn ourselves in the future. It causes me to wonder, what other scars are burned on our hearts?

How often do you find yourself running? When we’re scarred, we tend to run or hide from whatever left that mark. Beauty marks some say as they lighten the mood, but everyone knows what went into that “beauty mark”. There are countless reasons to be scarred and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been, but the worst part of the scar is when the scar is invisible. Many of us have invisible scars and because of their invisibility, we’re unable to tell the painful story. The one burning on our hearts daily. One we can’t tell because it’s too deep, or no one would care because they can’t see how it cuts us to the core.

What if we were given a shot? What if we shared those heartbreaking nightmares? The ones that still give you goosebumps. They bring tears to your eyes. I see it, but you won’t allow them beyond the gates. Insecurities and self-doubt crush your dreams. You’re lost and alone, though you have several close friends. You reason away the need to tell because you don’t want to be a burden. You don’t want to overshare. 

If I’m being completely honest, a lot of this is too me to even want to share, but I know someone needs it. Someone needs to know that your burns and beauty marks matter. God cares about your scars. He wants to bring you healing. It’s terrifying being alone in the world, feeling as if you can’t tell, but also can’t keep it in. My heart aches for you. I’ve been there. One thing I’m learning through all of this is reality. We all have these burns and if we share our burns, maybe it’ll give someone else the courage to share theirs. I’m learning that my closest friends want to hear the pain. They want to be there for you with you. Maybe, if we share the burdens and lies that crush us, we’ll find freedom. Not just freedom for ourselves, but also others who are now empowered to share their scars.

Battle scars, we all got ‘em. Late nights of endless tears. Early morning quivers from PTSD. The flashback from under the table when they fought, or that time when you couldn’t save them from tragic injury. We can’t undo the past, but let there be freedom. It isn’t yours to carry any longer. Let it go and be free.

Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Psalm 34:18-19 (ESV)

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Freedom

“Freedom is never free.”James Grengs states in his poem, Freedom is Never Free. Many others have also argued and pushed this point, but what does that mean? What’s the cost of freedom? Most Americans understand it cost many lives and much bloodshed to secure our “rights” as we now like to call them. These rights are freedoms. Not everyone has them, nor are they aware that some are entitled to them. We certainly didn’t start right, we still prevented thousands of precious lives from living in the freedom many began to experience, but all glory be to God, our eyes were opened to the crime against humanity. 

More lives were lost, the price was great and not all motives were pure in the process. Freedom was a hefty price, but a price worth paying. Freedom, as always, had a price tag attached. Sacrifices must be made to purchase freedom. Sacrifices of love, only a person with a deep, Christ-centered love would fight to the death for what is right, but a portion of that we often don’t admit either because we don’t think about it, or because we don’t want to is that freedom is found at the cross. Whose cross and how is freedom found at that cross? 

Romans 5:7 (ESV)

 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-

Okay, well Romans 5:7 doesn’t leave a whole lot of hope. It most certainly demonstrates part of the reason our war of peace and freedom never seems to end. We’re in it for ourselves. Scarcely a person dies for a righteous person. I know I wouldn’t be considered righteous, not if a person could see my heart as God does. So how are so many people willing to lay down their lives for the sake of others who may or may not be righteous? Don’t lose hope with verse seven. The best is yet to come. 

Romans 5:8 (ESV)

 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

There are two reasons I can reconcile as to why a person would pay the high price for freedom. Either they are in it for themselves for their glory or personal gain, or maybe, with Christ’s love, they fight, losing their own lives, but counting it as a gain for the glory of Christ. God’s love is beyond human comprehension. It’s hard to even begin to understand, much less explain. Yet, it’s the place in which you will find more freedom than ever before. For without Christ’s sacrifice, we were in bondage to sin. 

Romans 6:14 (ESV)

 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

See after Christ paid the ultimate price, we were gifted with grace so great it covers the cost of our sin. Now, we are no longer slaves. Sin won’t have dominion over you even though it did! That’s the best news I could ever hear. While our world is chaotic and full of violence. People enslaved to sin, or told they are less, we can spread God’s love and his grace now that Christ’s love lives in us. “Run wild. Live free. Love strong. You and me.” as For King and Country sings in their song Run Wild. This is what we’re called to do. As we thank God for his freeing grace and mercy. Let us be living demonstrators of his love. For this freedom was bought with the ultimate price, his perfect son’s life. All that he might adopt us as sons and daughters.