There’s a scar on my arm.
It’s shaped roughly like a boomerang.
In February I went in for a routine skin check-up and found out there were things happening that were anything but routine. So on a cold March day I went to the doctor and let them slice and scoop and take away the threat of an invasion.
But it left a scar.
An angry pink scar with edges slightly raised and an odd purple-ish tint when I get cold.
The worst part? The worst part is that the day those unnatural cells were carved from my body was the day he told me his secrets. It was the day he showed me his heart and the day I said it wasn’t too much. By the time we went to dinner that night I could barely lift my arm from the pain. To my chagrin he offered to cut my hamburger for me so I wouldn’t have to lift it.
Not long ago I had a follow-up check-in to make sure nothing else started causing trouble. The doctor looked at my angry pink scar and frowned. He noticed the end was raised and painful when he pressed. So he took some medicine and carefully injected it into the most sensitive part of the scar, sending medicine to the edges that hadn’t quite healed. It hurt in that moment and for a good bit after. It took about a week for the scar to smooth over but eventually it did. The pain gone, the raised markings smoothed with only a visual reminder of what had once been.
The past 10 days have been like that doctor’s appointment.
My mending heart was smooth without bumps or bruises, pain or pinching. Visually there are marking of what once was, of what happened, of something that seemed normal but had to be removed. And yet to the trained surgeon’s eye, all was not quite well with the scar. It could still be better.
So my heart had to undergo the painful prick of the needle and the stinging of the medicine to finish the work started many months ago. I chose to have the Surgeon look at it. Chose to have Him heal it. Chose to have Him make it better. I could have left well enough alone with a painful bump always reminding me of that past, what I lost, what I went through.
Where it feels like two steps back it’s actually a painful step in the right direction — the direction of healing. And the best surgeons will tell you that all scars don’t heal the same way. And my guess is that neither does the heart.
However the process is not easy or fun. In my moments of pain it can feel like the scar has broken open like the day it was cut. Even if it is untrue and its just an old aching wound, it feels like it did with that very first slice. But just like the scar on my arm, the scar that only goes layers deep but most of the time doesn’t hurt, I know that in just a few moments this pain will pass too. And occasionally I’ll find myself running my fingers over the smooth scar marveling at what it was, what it became, and what it is now. And I can only hope and pray and watch for my heart’s scars to become the same.
Sometimes when it hurts again it doesn’t mean you’re back to where you were… Just figuring out where to go now.