JESUS EXPLOSION – My First Experience
July 20, 2023
Don’t let your mind rule you!
July 20, 2023

The Scars We Carry

Man and woman engage each other at the wrist

By Eleanor Peters Clarke

A few days ago, I had an interaction with a stranger that caused me to question all my interactions. Without going into details, the stranger and I were in conflict. He felt that I should be doing something while I believed it was part of the service offered. He was abrasive in insisting that I should do it myself. Then for one moment, I looked down. His right hand had three fingers and a thumb. Immediately it all clicked into place. Whether it was insecurity or inability, his refusal and subsequent attitude were probably based on the absence of his finger on his right hand. I changed my approach, and my theory was proven with a change in his own attitude.

In our own interactions, when we lash out, how much is based on the scars we carry from what we lost? Any trauma we experience has an impact on us. When a child gets injured, there may be a physical scar but also an emotional response that may determine all future responses to a similar scenario. How much of our responses to each other are based on the hurt that we individually and/or collectively experience when we have lost a part of ourselves? Spiritually, we may have lost parts pecked away from hurt, loss and disappointment. How does this impact our response to God?

We pray for healing when we experience trauma. My stranger’s hand had been healed but the finger was no longer where it was supposed to be. When we ask for healing, is our request enough? If not, what else should we be asking for? I posit that we should not only be seeking healing but also the ability to cope with the scars that result. Whether seen or unseen, the scars are there, creating an area with uneven tissue. Recognising the depth of the disfigurement is first. Healing is the second step. Coping is the next. Coping, however, maybe a lifelong journey.

Many years ago, I lost my brother when he was five years old. I am a mother of sons. And for both, during their fifth and sixth years on Earth, I held within me an anxiety. There were no conditional similarities between my brother and my offspring, yet based on that previous experience, my anxiety was at an all-time high. Thankfully, that period has ended, but it showed me that although I proclaim to have faith, the trigger made me doubt and question. I thought that I had healed from the trauma, but my response indicated otherwise.

The scars we carry are deep and may never disappear. We need to be cognisant of how we relate to each other because we do not know the effects of the traumas we have all faced. I had to interact with my stranger yesterday and upon seeing me, his body language was so different from our first encounter. The exchange, while not pleasant, was filled with a higher level of tolerance. I saw his struggle and adapted, he accepted my adaptation and relented. Let us take the time in our interactions to acknowledge, “I see your scars.”