They touched my scars with the healing balm of their words

From “Designed to Heal: What the Body Shows Us About Healing Wounds, Repairing Relationships, and Restoring Community” by Jennie A. McLaurin and Cymbeline Tancongco Culiat

Jesus invited his closest friends to feel the outline of his wounds. How might we better understand the scarred composition of our lives as we continue into the future? Through journaling, counseling, or small-group friendships, we can trace our own journeys. Like erecting an Ebenezer, we can discover how far we have come, noting the setbacks that seem to create contracture, adhesion, and disfigurement. We can learn that touching our scars will not destroy us but may even bring forth joy, as it did in the disciples.

Throughout my family’s social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, we struggle to maintain a positive perspective. We became exasperated with one another as new interruptions compounded old irritations. Hypertrophy set in as tension grew. We failed, as a family, to make it through that season without creating new stresses in formerly healed relationships.

At first, I despaired. I never should have had a family, I thought. We weren’t going to be the cheerful model for others to copy. But as I honestly shared that time with my close-knit prayer group, they touched my scars with the healing balm of their words. They encouraged me as they showed me that much had been repaired and resolved over the course of years. My counselor did the same, reminding me that these times of repeated adhesions are fewer and more infrequent than ever. Tracing my scars allowed me to see their real proportions, rather than anxiously fearing they were too large to overcome.