She had a scar on her shoulder.
A thin, white, neat line travelling smoothly across her skin, 
sliding under her shirt strap.

Some surgery, perhaps? some accident?
Whatever its origin,
somewhy – 
something wounded that woman.
Cut her skin and her flesh deeply enough
to leave a permanent mark.  

I saw it only for a moment,  deep in conversation with a friend.
Yet the irony escaped me till much later –
For as we spoke it was clear for those with ears to hear,
that I, too, have a scar.
Not on my shoulder but on my heart.
something wounded this woman.
Cut her soul and spirit deeply enough
to leave a permanent mark.  

And my friend needed only see it for a moment, 
to respond with compassion to listen and empathize
to acknowledge my scar and share something of her own.
But not as oneupmanship, oh no!
none of that “wait till you see my scar’ nonsense.  

Instead, a beautiful
mutual recognition
that scars shout survival.  

My scar is my scar
and your scar is your scar
yet when we are brave enough to share them 
and humble enough to own them
we find we are not alone
in baring them
and bearing them.
For if it takes a scar to know a scar, then by our scars – we can be known.  

We have scars on our shoulders.
But in the presence of the Great Physician,
they offer proof of healing.
They are not flaws,
not weaknesses,
not imperfection.  

Christ’s scars
the fingerprints of salvation
transform my scars
to fingerprints of resurrection.

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