The Word of God

The Scar

young boy looking up with tears in his eyes and crying

“The most beautiful people I have ever met are the ones who always see life in full color. They are the ones who have been through hell and back and still stop to savor the parts of life that many seldom pay attention to. They will always use their past experiences as a guiding light to bring forth a more authentic way of life. These are the people I admire most because no matter how much they have suffered, they will always find a reason to make the best of this imperfect world.” Karen A. Baquiran  

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on everyone, but perhaps most dramatically upon young families who were just beginning the road to their dreams last year when the pandemic began to spread, only to find even the simplest and familiar elements of life evaporate like steam from a tea kettle. Existence itself has taken a new texture and format causing a new kind of pressure and resulting in a type of stress that few even today can fully understand or appreciate. 

Take for example the family in a small suburb outside of Miami, Florida. They had just purchased their first house, modest, quaint, and perfect for their budding little family of two boys, ages six and eight. Last summer, he was laid off from his electrician job and with schools shutting down, money and patience became understandably tight. His young wife was always the optimistic one of the couple and her deep belief that all would be well and all would somehow work out never tired. Perhaps it had to do with her upbringing and how she knew how to push through all kinds of adversity. They had both found part time work so as to balance the family budget and arranged their schedules so that at least one of them could be at home with the boys and help with online learning and remote classes until it was deemed safe and appropriate to return to the classroom.

That first summer was difficult as it was for so many families, not just around the country but around the world. Life had dramatically and drastically changed and not for the better. Friendships were strained, families became more and more distant, and the remote Zoom-ing, Skype-ing, and detached fragile efforts at communication were just becoming too old and unappealing. There was finally a break in the doldrums when the local school announced along with the other local campuses that in-class learning was to resume and, with all the social distancing measures in place, there would be safe, monitored, and carefully-orchestrated parent-teacher conferences for those who opted for such a dialogue. 

Most everyone was excited at such a gathering, mostly parents and their counterpart educators, many of whom had become close friends throughout the years. There were also a good handful of young students that were looking forward to these days of normalcy ahead as well, with the exception of one small, quite assuming member of our Florida family that we are highlighting today. The usual brightness and smile ran away from his face when he heard this his mother would be accompanying him to school the following week to try to inch toward the “way things used to be,” if only for a fraction of the life they were attempting to maintain.

There are, no doubt, many reasons why this little one would feel this way. Primarily, he was at that age when the common and expected motherly affection embarrassed him especially in front of the other little boys in his class. There may have been that old familiar inner pull of every growing little boy between the comforts of childhood and the not-so-distant calls to adolescence with a tint of manhood whistling away. But there was another reason for his consternation, and it was simple in size as it was complicated in scope. It was a scar. And it was not visible on his own innocent face, but on his mother’s otherwise pristine and smooth countenance. The mark was clearly visible beginning right above her left eye, travelling down diagonally across her Roman nose ending just slightly below her lower lip. Amazingly, no one in the family ever mentioned it or ever even referred to it or questioned its existence, that is, until this very moment in an incredibly young life when apparently, he was feeling some strange type of misplaced shame, perhaps confusing, angering, and perplexing him all at the same time. 

As the date and time for the socially-distant and emotionally-bonding parent-teacher-student moment arrived, the little one began to make all kinds of excuses why he could not, or rather, why he would not be there. First, his head ached, then his stomach, then he ran out of body parts to ail and finally said that he just did not want to go without giving any reasonable explanation. Perhaps this is where parental wisdom, which is sometimes only felt and fully understood at the time that it is needed, becomes ready and fit to launch. And so, it was about to do just that. After the meaningful glances between mother and father, the decision was made. “You are going.” And with that, the discussion ended. 

Young dread, especially noted on the face of a young child, must be especially painful but altogether necessary in the subline effort to prepare for all the other moments of painstaking remorse and anxiety that awaits any soul maturing along the path of life. This was a case in point with our young man. Quietly keeping to himself for most of the days leading up to the conference, the day finally arrived. Mother and son embarked on the twenty-minute drive to his school as if they were going to a funeral and as soon as they arrived and began to walk toward his classroom, he began to cry, softly but noticeably. As soon as they entered his classroom, he ran into the cloakroom apparently to hide or escape whatever encounter he had been fearing all these days. His teacher, a woman nearly the same age as his mother, appeared a little startled by his behavior but immediately launched into a lively dialogue with the boy’s mother and the two truly began their conference, happily and engaging.

After a few minutes, as if they both ignored their absent son and student from the mix, the teacher took what is possibly a bold but necessary step in asking the obvious question.

“Please forgive me, but I couldn’t help notice the scar on your face. May I please ask what happened?”

With the grace of a true liberated soul who has seen the best and the worst of life, she answered gingerly but not without enough volume so that her hidden offspring could hear and comprehend.

“Of course, I do not mind. It happened years ago when my son was newly born, perhaps only three months old. We were living in a ridiculously small apartment with one small bedroom and barely enough room to move around comfortably. One day a fire broke out in the complex and spread quickly through our section. It had spread to our bedroom where my son was sleeping in his crib. A burning beam had dislodged from the ceiling and was falling toward him, and the last thing I remember was rushing to his crib and blocking it from falling on top of him. I was knocked unconscious, and when I came to, I was in the ambulance, my baby was safe, and now I have this scar. Since that day, I have never, ever regretted what I did that day.” 

Not surprisingly, that little boy, having heard everything, ran out of that cloakroom straight toward his mother and hugged her as tightly as he could, and for the rest of the visit, and then some, he never left her side. 

“So I’m thankful for the scars, ’cause without them I wouldn’t know Your heart. And I know they’ll always tell of who You are. So forever I am thankful for the scars.” Song “Scars” by I Am They

Share your thoughts (18 thoughts)

18 thoughts on “The Scar”

  • Anthony Montez says:

    This past weekend when I was reading my three year old granddaughter a story about a a little girl and a pony. My granddaughter asked me what the dots were on the girls face. I told her they were freckles. My granddaughter said she had freckles too and showed me her belly button. I told her that’s not a freckle it’s your belly button and everyone has a belly button. So now she wants to know why. I told her when she was born from her mom it left a belly button, kind of like a scar but a very beautiful scar because it came from your mother. I told her even Jesus got a belly button from his mother Mary. My granddaughter said she’s got a belly button just like Jesus. Yes, my little changa. We all do. Just like Jesus.

    • Caro says:

      Awesome slice of life from your amazing family, Dr. Montez! Thank you for that brisk but insightful perspective on our latest offering. When all is said and done, the most valuable lessons in life should be appreciated by God’s most innocent!

  • Deborah says:

    What a beautiful story about scars. I have many childhood scars and adult scars that have helped me become who I am now. Many of my adulthood scars have truly brought me to a place where I trust the lord with my life.

    • Caro says:

      Hello, again, Deborah, and thank you for reminding us that scars help us trust in Jesus. By His wounds, we have been saved.

  • Margo says:

    Scars are definitely a part of mine and everyone’s life for that matter. I envy those that have the strong ability to forgive and move on. I know people always say, you only live once, life is short, you should always forgive and so on. Some scars run so deep it seems almost impossible but I’m working on it and loved reading this story.
    I applaud those that have the heart to forgive and move forward!

    • Caro says:

      Welcome back, Margo, and thank you for sharing what is clearly a very meaningful and perennial issue for you and for many of our readers. I can’t remember who said this but I certainly agree with it and try very hard to remember it especially when the ugly head of resentment and hatred rear their ugly heads: “When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” But what happens when someone you love hurts you and you still love them and still hurt? All I can do is think of Jesus on the cross and know that as much as I have hurt and abandoned Him, His love for me just grows stronger. There must be mystery in that, and, in fact, there is. There are days like these that I long for clarity and insight to move beyond the resentment and pain and just live. I think it is remembering His scars for me, and the truth that He would do it all over again just for me, that makes me want to keep trying. Forgiveness is not natural; it is supernatural.

  • Thank you for this beautiful story! I thank God for my scars, for through them , I came to know my Lord more intimately.

    • Caro says:

      Thank you so very much, Sandra, and welcome back! and God be with you during this amazing Lenten Season! Thank you for reading and responding! “My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.”
      ― Steve Goodier

  • Julie Trevino says:

    “Scars” a beautiful story, during our season of Lent, of love and courage then turning into faith. The love of a mother is so strong! A mother would do anything to protect her children. In the story the mother loved her son so much that she, not even thinking, ran to save her baby from the falling beam. What great courage! The child, not knowing till years later, found love and faith in his mother. A love and faith so deep that he would not leave her side.
    Jesus Christ loves us so much that He felt and suffered for all our sins, was scourged for all our sins, wore a crown of thorns for all our sins, carried a heavy cross for all our sins and was crucified for all our sins. The scars on His Hands and Feet are reminders of how much He loves us. For some it might take years before we realize what He did to save us. But when we finally understand why He did what He did then we will have faith and never leave His side.
    So, forever I am thankful for the scars because without them I wouldn’t know His Heart!
    (Beautiful song)

    • Caro says:

      Welcome back, Julie, and thank you very much for your kind response to our latest article. I especially appreciated the perspective you shared that reminded us all that sooner or later, we all come to a realization of all the wonderful sacrifices that have been made for us. Hopefully, they come sooner than later. I am also happy you like the closing song lyrics. It is certainly worth a listen. God bless you in this amazing time of Lent.

  • Ron says:

    There are physical scars and mental scars. And sometimes one leads to the other and the condition is compounded. For me, this story is about love and understanding (in the end) and fear and misunderstanding (in the beginning). We so often convince ourselves that because we feel one way about a situation that our feelings must be valid. Our feelings can protect us but they can also cause us to live in fear. When we feel fearful, apprehensive, or even angry, we have to question those feelings and ask “Why do I feel that way” instead of simply just letting our emotions take over. When we dig deep and think through what’s troubling us we’ll often find that the situation or the condition isn’t the problem – I am. We face, on a regular basis, things we just simply don’t want to confront because it makes us uncomfortable or we don’t see how it benefits us personally. Sometimes fear is just fear and other times it selfishness manifested as fear. When we let love and selflessness intervene and do what we know is the right thing to do, we conquer our doubts and fears, strengthen our character, and become more courageous. In the end we aspire to be as optimistic as the young mother in this story who put aside self and the concerns for her own safety in order to save her son. The scar she bore was a reminder of the deep love she had for her child and once the son understood her sacrifice, her scar no longer mattered.

    “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
    –Eleanor Roosevelt

    • Caro says:

      Lenten greetings to you, Ron and a joyous “welcome back!” as well! Thank you for honing our attention to the human “bookends” of our little story: love and understanding (in the end) and fear and misunderstanding (in the beginning). You have also introduced the completely wonderful and helpful concept of mindfulness as it applies to our everyday actions and human journey. So very often we need to sit back and look at ourselves and actually listen to what we are saying and consider how we are coming across to others. A scar does not form on the dying. A scar means I survived.

  • Abel Gonzalez says:

    Love the article and the perspective of what scars we all carry..

    Thank you

    • Caro says:

      Thank you, Abel, for reminding us that carrying scars is not a negative aspect of our lives. They remind us where we have been and where we need to go. God bless you and all your family.

  • Denise Guerra says:

    Wonderful!! This mother received her scars for saving her son just as Jesus received his for saving all of mankind. That’s true love!!❤️

    • Caro says:

      Another hearty “welcome back!”, Denise, and thank you again for your comments. May we all pursue the road of true love and find eternal joy at the end of all of our journeys.

  • Kris Bauta says:

    Superb as alway. Scars , wether physical, psychological or spiritual can stir within us many emotions. The stories they “hide” can and should make one stronger and speak to the amazing human spirit that is capable to do heroic things.
    Lent – the sacred season of wounds and scares. “In His wounds we have been healed”.

    Let’s continue to be “wounded” healers to the world that sometimes, instead of celebrating, shames the ones “scarred”.

    Thank you for this pertinent story for Lent.

    • Caro says:

      Thank you so very much for your comments today and for the call to action to be “wounded healers” for the world. We are living, as few are needed to be convinced, in a world where powerful individuals inflict harm upon the souls of others in the name of service. Yes! Yes! Yes! By His wounds, we are being healed even today. God bless you always, Kris. God is certainly not done with us yet.

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