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The Beauty of a Scar


Margaret Mitchell wrote:

I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken — and I’d rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived.

We all experience hurt in life. And when it comes time to pick up the pieces, the task can feel daunting sometimes. The realization that the trial we’ve faced will leave a scar can be an uncomfortable one. Like Margaret Mitchell said, I’d rather try think of a time when I was at my best rather than see the broken pieces and realize it will change me forever.

Unfortunately, that’s not realistic. As humans, we seem to be terrified of scars. We want to hide them, cover them up, or ignore them. But to deny them is to deny some of the very things that help shape who we are and who we will become. And as much as I would love to ignore the effects of things I’ve experienced, I’m opening my eyes to the fact that doing so can jeopardize the healing process, and ultimately, something special in the future.

Slumdog Millionaire illustrates that idea in a beautiful way. If you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to know the ending, then you may want to skip the next couple of paragraphs. If you’ve seen it, you know that the story revolves around two people, Jamal and Latika. They become friends from an early age in the midst of great hardship. They’re used and abused, and separated time and time again. But every time it happens, Jamal does everything he can to find her. One time when she tries to see him, she’s dragged away by the people holding her captive before she can get to him. As Jamal runs after her, he can only watch helplessly as they pull Latika into a car and cut her cheek with a knife as they drive away. At the moment when they’re finally able to reach each other, Latika is wearing a scarf around her head. As Jamal removes the scarf, Latika looks away from, embarrassed by the now exposed scar on her face. But then he looks at her, and before doing or saying anything else, he gently turns her head and kisses her scar.

You see, the scar was part of what led them to each other. To ignore it was to ignore their story. And in that moment when Jamal kissed it, the final healing came and they both knew that they didn’t have to hide the hurts of the past. It was a part of who they were individually and together, and it only further united their hearts. Frequently when I write these posts, I don’t know where they’re going to end up. I don’t always know what I’m going to say. But many times a thought will suddenly pop into my head that I’ve never considered before. And it’s just happened again.

When Christ rose from the dead, He had conquered sin and death. He had won. And yet his scars were still present. Why? So we could see the marks of His sacrifice. So we could see the price He paid for us. So we could why we can spend eternity with Him. His scars weren’t erased or covered up. They remain to tell a story of something more powerful than a mark, and I think that’s what the scars we experience in life do too. I write this post for my own sake as much as anyone else’s. Life can bring its share of scars. It’s tempting to try and pretend they’re not there. But if we acknowledge them, God can bring something along to kiss the scars and help us find love, healing, and redemption.


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About the Author

Nathan Zacharias

Growing up, Nathan always had a passion for media, and he believes in its ability to shape a culture. A good word, a good image or good music can help people think, feel and change. Though he’s spent most of his years in Atlanta, he’s also lived in Colorado Springs and New York City. He and his wife, Sarah, married in 2011. They live in Atlanta with their dog, Belle.


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