Marks and Scars

“My marks and scars I carry with me to be a witness for me.”

A line from Paul Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress. A book I have held in my hand a number of times trying to get started on reading it. I have not yet found a time that I looked at the first page and wanted to tackle it. Don’t know if I ever will. Maybe I will find a Readers Digest Condensed version – or perhaps ‘Pilgrims Progress for Dummies.’

But I love the line. “My marks and scars I carry with me to be a witness for me.”

A number of years ago I found those very words in the Canadian Parliament Building in Ottawa. It is located in the Memorial room where war time losses are remembered. War certainly causes marks and scars.

It is true that we all carry with us the marks and scars that we have picked up during our life.

I have some mighty impressive stretch marks across my torso which were created by my wonderful children during the growing of the first 9 months of their lives. Now I am not altogether proud of these marks which look a tad like Darth-Vaders-helmetless-head. But very proud of the children that grew under them.

I have other marks and scars.

  • A small gash on my hand because the scalpel used when I was trying to dissect my dead-as-a-door nail science frog from high school.
  • A slash on my thumb from some rather tacky craft project, again from my high school days.
  • An appendix removal scar from 1983.

And various others which need not be added to the list for you to know that I have received some bumps along the way. But we all carry marks and scars that are never seen on the outside.

Scars on the inside – hurt feelings, angry words, disappointments, careless words spoken, relationships which we wish were different. I am sure that I have, at one point or another, been the one who has inflicted marks and scars on others. In each case I would like to have the chance to apologize and to make amends. To offer and to receive forgiveness is a cleansing thing.

My marks and scars are part of who I am – the seen ones and the unseen ones. I expect I will gain some more before I am through. And, whether I like it or not, I will probably inflict some more before I am through.

Still I continue trying.

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