On Scars And Mats
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Health and Wellness

On Scars And Mats

The Man at Bethesda

On Scars And Mats

Scars. Most of us have them. And we all struggle with the question of whether or not to hide them. Sometimes we look in the mirror or catch a glimpse of them and cringe. Society and shame teach us to hate our scars. They are ugly imperfections. We are to be spotless creatures with zero flaws. Let me tell you right now, that is a lie. Scars, are a beautiful and powerful reminder of where we have been and how far we have come. When I see my scars from self-harm, I see hope. I see the possibility of freedom and healing.

A few weeks ago, I was at church and the pastor was telling us a story from John 5. There was a pool in Jerusalem called Bethesda where the sick would come to be healed. There was a man there who had been crippled for 38 years. He had laid there on a mat by the pool waiting to be healed. The town’s people would occasionally bring him food and clean him up a bit. But he was alone, he was sick and had been lying on his mat for almost forty years.

Then, a man named Jesus came into town. When he saw the man lying there, he approached him and asked, “Do you want to get well?” This seems like a silly question, but it’s valid. Often times people get comfortable in their suffering and are afraid to change. They’re afraid to lead a normal life. But this man responded yes and Jesus said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” And then the man who had been crippled for his entire life was instantly healed. He picked up his mat and walked away. When the Jewish leaders saw the man walking with his mat they asked him, “Who is this man who told you to pick up your mat and walk?” They wanted to know who healed him. He told them it was Jesus who had healed him.

Jesus told this man to carry his mat with him, even though it was probably old and smelly and quite frankly disgusting because he knew that when people saw this healthy man walking around with a cripple’s mat they would wonder how he was healed. They would see his mat and want to know more about the man who could do such a miracle.

You guys, our scars are our mats. Our scars are permanent, portable mats that we get to carry around and show people, “Look! Jesus healed me and He can heal you too!” People will see our scars and wonder how someone who has been through so much could be so free.

It is a shame for us to let shame convince us to hide our mats. They are evidence of God’s healing power and his great love and mercy. Our scars are proof to the world that God is real and even more, he is relational. He cares about you and me enough to individually heal and rescue each and person who cries out to him. Don’t let shame stop you for sharing your story. Your story is the most powerful tool you’ll ever have. Your story may just be someone else’s key to freedom. So don’t be afraid to wear your scars proudly because you never know who will see your mat and ask, “Who is this man who healed you?”

Luke 6:19

“The people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.”

Psalm 147:3

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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