There’s an aspect of Jesus’ death, crucifixion, and resurrection that struck me just now. Most of you will likely look at your screen while reading this and think to yourself, “Um… duh. Have you really not recognized that until now?” It’s fine, do it. I’ve accepted that I’m slower than a herd of turtles sometimes. :)
There’s an element to Jesus’ crucifixion and even resurrection that’s convicting for me as someone who claims to be a disciple..
His open wounds were on display for all to see.
Not only were his wounds on display, but he willingly put his scars on display for others to see after he rose from the dead, too. I can’t imagine that having an entire crowd looking on your naked shame, pain, and death is a comfortable situation. Sometimes swallowing your pride and sharing your story are necessary — not for you, but for those who need to hear the story and see the scars. Does this mean we share with everyone around us or post it on social media for the whole world to see? No. Not at all. But does it mean that we get a free pass on shoving it down, not dealing with it, and putting on a happy face as we walk into church all spiffy and tell everyone we’re just dandy? No. Not at all.
Maybe it’s the kid down the street who you saw running out of the house while his mom and dad screamed at each other at the top of their lungs. You remember running to hide when you were his age, too.
Maybe it’s the woman in church who walked in smiling at everyone, but you saw her falling apart during worship. You’ve been there. You get that heartache.
Maybe it’s the coworker who came in exhausted, yet again, because the anxiety they wrestle with keeps them awake. You know what it’s like to feel like a monster is eating you alive.
Maybe it’s the guy whose bloodshot eyes tell you everything about how Saturday night went. You remember the days of showing up for church hungover, hoping and praying no one would notice.
Maybe it’s the wife who showed up to church without her husband again, and you see her watching other couples with a tear in her eye. You’ve prayed the same prayers you know she’s praying now. You still are.
Maybe it’s the woman who had the kiddo outside of marriage who sinks into the corner in the back, telling herself she doesn’t fit in here. You remember what it was like to be young and feeling judged by your choices.
Maybe it’s the guy you know who just isn’t himself anymore because life has hardened him quite a bit over these last few years. You understand that bitterness all too well.
Maybe it’s the kid that comes home with your kiddo all a mess because Mom and Dad are getting divorced, and you’ve been there, done that.
Maybe it’s the friend whose marriage is falling apart. Maybe they’re trying to make it work, but right now there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, and you remember that feeling all too well.
Someone needs your story.
I received a message last night that made me heave one of those shuddering sighs. You know, the type you sigh when you’re fighting back tears of thankfulness while still walking through pain all at the same time? This person was thanking me for my honesty and openness about some pain and hurt that I’m dealing with and trying to allow Jesus to use to teach me. Being willing to expose a wound is hard, but we don’t do it for the sake of exposing the wound. We do it for the sake of helping others whose wounds are still bleeding, but can’t be seen because they’re still hiding them. We do it because Jesus openly –and literally– exposed his wounds and his scars. He told Thomas to place his hands where the holes were from the nails and believe. For me personally, God has graciously removed any amount of pride I had a week ago so I can get on here and tell you what he’s throwing at me left and right. I’m not kidding, you guys. If you forced me to stand on a stage in front of hundreds or thousands of people and told me to ‘fess up to the filth of the sins I’ve committed throughout the course of my life, I’d do it without arguing you or even thinking twice. Not because I want to, but because I’m so sick of Satan using shame to keep people in hiding.
I look at recent events and I realize that I was ashamed of needing and wanting something on a spiritual level simply because someone didn’t understand it. Was it anyone’s fault? By no means. But in my shame, I turned elsewhere. In the pain of feeling like I was an idiot for wanting something, I shut down. Y’all, we gotta start being honest about who we are, what it is that’s hurting, and what we need to not implode.
Some of us are lucky to have scars. I use the word “lucky” because scars don’t hurt, right? They’ve healed. Open wounds hurt. They’re still bleeding. They need to be fixed. Scars have already healed. Don’t get me wrong: there’s still a mark. The scar means that there was once an injury, and it might have been a very serious one. But the scar means things have healed as best as they could. Are painful memories still there? Absolutely. Sometimes people need to see the scars so they know there’s hope for healing. Some people still have open wounds, or stitches, or even painful scabs that they keep ripping open. They need to know that eventually those wounds will heal and will become scars.
It’s difficult. Sharing your screw-ups, your hangups, your hurts, your wounds, your scars – all of it. It’s never easy, but it’s worth it. Someone once told me that anything worth having or doing isn’t easy.