Written on March 14, 2017. By Shari Norvell
A few evenings ago, a little man was sleeping over with Marmie and Pappi. As I was snuggling him to sleep, He was asking questions of different varieties. One of his varieties was about the “marks” I had on different spots of my body. My scars. And, well, it got me thinking about them.
My first scar came from running when I should have been walking. My increased speed landed my chin on a chair. My second came when I couldn’t stop my bike and I ran off a ledge, scraping my leg on the way down. I should probably add that the kneeling man I ran into and took off the ledge with me most likely has a scar as well. And then there is the scar on my thumb that got slammed into a heavy metal door by some boys that didn’t want me to follow them. A footnote – all of these scarrings happened at the same apartment complex in Pennsylvania. I just think PA should be recognized for its scar anointing, that’s all.
My legs could be pulled out of a line up by their dings and dents. There was the toilet lid incident, in which the top of a toilet was knocked off (by me reaching for a basketball) and shattering on the back of my leg. This was when the word stitches entered my life and didn’t leave for a while. For some years later, I was driving a go cart with my friend and couldn’t maneuver the steering wheel in time and was graciously saved from great harm by a barbed wire fence. One hundred plus stitches in two different locales.
As I entered into adulthood, I sustained a few more scars. One from a stab wound. Okay, it was self inflicted when I tried to open a can of chili with a knife because my roommate and I spent all our monies on clothes instead of a can opener.
And then, there is the scar across my tummy made to bring Reepi into my arms. That’s my favorite. I touch the rough terrain of it everyday and thank Pappa for the one that’s here and the one in heaven.
But the scars I have most of are the ones you can’t see, though they aren’t the marks of healed wounds. They are instead the beautied blemishes of paths followed, risks taken, cliffs dived and mountains climbed. Their jagged little edges came when I loved wildly and my heart was shattered, when I was learning to walk in the dark of not knowing what it looked like just yet and bumped into a few things. These seered spots came when I said yes when it was so very hard and no when it meant not leaving the path set before me. They have appeared when I have sobbed and soared, whispered and roared, been broken and bold, when I have listened and learned. When I have been found praying it and not saying it and in those moments when I want desperately to be silent but spoke.
These aren’t healed abrasions or scabbed scrapes. They are the fingerprints of being found, just like the One I follow. Within the deep and wide of them, I recognize He’s been there too and is utterly willing to go again, do again, with me. These are the disfigurements that cause me to look more and more like Him. Glorious gullies that remind me that I’ve gone where He’s gone, been where He’s been, said what He’s said and felt what He’s felt.
I have scars yet to come – because I haven’t yet been brave enough to go as far and wide as He has. Yet. But there is space still on the canvas of me, for more of the sealed letters of a story in the telling, a life in the living.
Write about one of your scars, one that no one sees. A beautied blemish you are glad marks and makes, reveals a place on the map of your life where you went with Him.
Our table is my favorite piece of furniture. It is blemishful from the life we have lived around it, beyond it. At Shabbat this week, tell the story of your table’s scars. All the ways its identified as your table, because it looks, well, like you!