Scar is a rough-edged word with roots in several languages, including Latin (eschara), Greek (ἐσχάρα oreskhara) and Old Norse (skarð). Scars remain after collagen rushes in like a team of first responders, criss-crossing and filling in gaps to make new flesh.
Scars remain in the muscle after a heart attack. Even your belly button is a scar—formed when your umbilical cord was cut. In other words, almost immediately after we enter this world, we are all scarred—for life.
There are emotional scars as well. God’s intention for us is abundant life. Yet we often fall into scarcity thinking about ourselves, about others, about our world. In Scripture, people with scars often hear God’s messages at pivotal points along their faith journeys.
Our scars don’t go away, but they do not define us. The cross defines us. God rebuilds us. Scars are proof that we can heal.
This message is an excerpt from “Near the cross” by Elizabeth Hunter in the January/February 2021 issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember Seattle, chief of the Duwamish Confederacy, who died in 1866.