LESSONS FOUND WITHIN THE SCARS FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS
Sunday, November 24, 2019
“Doesn’t matter who you are, this world is going to leave some scars” (TobyMac – Scars (Come With Livin’)
“Life is difficult. Once we truly know that life is difficult...once we truly understand and accept it...then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters” (M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled).
“The reason we are going through the things we are is that God wants to know whether he can make us good bread with which to feed others. The stuff of our lives, not simply of our talk, is to be the nutrient of those who know us.” (Oswald Chambers) “
I roused around half-past three o’clock in the morning … got out of bed … and quietly left the beauty next to me.
I understand that most normal folks would try to go back to sleep. However, I’m not like most normal folks. For me, the first two things that come to mind are making coffee and blogging.
Now, with a hot cup of French roast in front of me on the desk and my fingertips poised above the keyboard, I allow my thoughts to linger a bit in my mind. Sometimes it takes only a few seconds, and other times more than a few minutes, but generally, I’m able to pull down something worth blogging about from those thoughts. And the worthiness found within this notion offers both a cognitive health-giving attitude towards cancer while leaving … I hope … a long-lasting life principle for those who are following me on this journey. Because it wouldn’t be hospitable to the reader if I only left unwanted crumbs of self-absorbed thoughts of my emotions, interests, and complaints. No, what’s most important to consider is that an individual’s life story must offer value to those who also seek better ways to negotiate the turbulent waters of life.
With a grateful heart and praise to God, I’m much aware that the last six years have been graciously given to me through His loving hands. And while that I remain steadfastly thankful for His grace, this fight against cancer has given me permanent scars – both concealed, as well as obvious to the looker. One could easily say that I deserve the given right to recruit sympathizers to take pity on me for the scars that I’ve incurred during this fight against cancer. If I took that undesirable sympathetic road, then let God do away with me!
It is not about the scars by themselves, it’s about how they are manifested to those companions around you. Either your wounds serve as an exemplar of how you found meaning in each one, so in turn they serve as a banner to give passage to other sojourners, who must also negotiate the turbulent waters of life, or the scars are allowed to turn into a pitiful crutch that leaves you in a never-ending commiserative state, insistently panhandling for others to take pity on you.
My cancerous opus has led me to believe that when a person’s faith is tested by scars given to him, they grow in strength and wisdom; in that, their ‘true’ soul is revealed, by the very act of learning and embracing their scars.
Like a tornado ripping through a home, tearing apart its walls and structures, one would think that the jagged edges of scars following an affliction might do the same to a person’s life. On the contrary, the storm itself creates a deeper well of wisdom and knowledge of the one afflicted, evidenced by how their scars are portrayed. They are not torn down, instead, they become a comforter and nourishment for others facing similar afflicting scars.
The way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow. Why it should be so is another matter, but that it is so is true in the Scriptures and in human experience. You always know the man who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, you are certain you can go to him in trouble and find that he has ample leisure for you. If a man has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, he has no time for you. If you receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you nourishment for other people (Chambers, Receiving One’s Self in The Fires of Sorrow, n.d.).
It is only when one decides to embrace the meaning of their scars following the affliction that they not only become a benefit for others, but they also gain new insight into who they truly are. Moreover, these new insights can only be found by embracing the meaningful lessons in the scars. Conversely, the problem for those who desire to traverse to the other side unscathed only finds themselves in a worsened state.
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