Traveling the highway north and preparing for a visit with folk that I had not seen for several months, I came suddenly upon a large mark in the highway, immediately identifiable as a place where a large animal, probably a deer or steer, had been hit by a vehicle.
My mind was reflecting on the possibilities from that encounter when I saw a second such marking, expanding those possibilities.
By now I was in gear, thinking of the near misses over the years — caribou, moose, and deer. It was not until later that I realized I had thought little about the smaller animals that had succumbed to my vehicle as I traveled across our country — rabbits, a snow owl, numerous other birds, two dogs, and obviously some I had long forgotten. I found myself asking why some seemed so significant and others not so? Was it the size of the animal that added impact to my experience or had allowed me to all but forget some of the “smaller” incidents along the highways?
Life’s highway seems filled with experiences that are significant, or more significant, than some of the encounters that are long forgotten. We seem to identify them according to the effect, or near effect, on us personally. Somehow we do not think in terms of the effect on others that might fit into the reverse category. The idea that the rabbit had little ones left without a mother drifts to obscurity as the fact that the deer antler left my truck marked down the entire side.
Most of our lives have “scars” left from the “thuds” and impacts somewhere along the way. Some we live with day by day because they are indelibly implanted in obvious places. Some are hidden deeply enough that they are known about only on a personal level and seem to effect only “me” as an individual. Some are looked upon as lessons learned, but all of them are “scars”.
In one way or another, the “scars” of sin affect us. Sure, I have experienced the forgiveness of God and know that He holds it against me no more. But, those past experiences and encounters continue to hold a psychological, physical, emotional, tinge of the past that harasses others and me. When they plague me, I have but one recourse — go back to the Lord in prayer and remind Him and myself that they are “nailed to the cross and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O, my soul.” (P.P. Bliss)
So, with no better mirror for the soul than the Word of God, it is imperative that I look into its pages for dealing with the “scars” of my past that will always have impact on my “present”. I turn to Psalm 51. Our compassionate God confirms His cleansing power and creates in me a clean heart. He converts others as a result of my forgiven past and uses my scars to keep my heart contrite.