My baby girl is tough. From the minute she was born she was ready to run. If she had the muscle strength to walk, she’d have put on high heels and run out of the maternity ward without so much as a glance. When she realized she would have to wait to develop her strength she seemed…perturbed. Her little eyes flared back at me from my chest and she found her way immediately to my breast. It was as though she knew instinctively her mother’s milk was her ticket out of here. It was, for now, the thing she needed to make her strong. She was born tough. And she would have the scars to prove it.
An altercation at the age of two between a chair and gravity would prove her facial bones could withstand the full impact of concrete with her body weight behind it. A tiny scar upon her brow and beneath her orbital bone are all that prove her strength. Many cuts and bruises followed, scraped knees, scratches from the dog, a knotted head or welt or two from big brother’s “too rough” play would mark her way but those scars did not remain. At least not visible upon her body.
Fast forward six years and the two of us would find ourselves together again in that same hospital. Only this time, she wasn’t trying to run but fly. Four staples to the head without so much as a flinch or wince, I watched my baby girl lay perfectly still as the doctors had her wrapped up like a burrito so she couldn’t fight back. They were astounded by her calmness. You’d have thought she was making herself ready for a facial and massage. A look of serenity swept her face. I wondered where she got it. Did she know what had just happened to her could’ve killed her? She seemed unphased. Then that perturbed look returned. “Mom, when do I get my ice pop?”
The gash was nearly an inch and a half long, a quarter inch wide and nearly as deep. It was the perfect place for a scar. Right in the hairline, no one would notice. Only she would know it was there. Every time she touched it she would remember this day. The day she was brave and fearless. The day her brother edged her on to dive backward into the water. The day she almost died.
Scars can be powerful.
There is another set of scars I am reminded of. Why did the Scriptures say they never went away? Perhaps it’s because they need to remind us of why they came to be.
Having completely healed over, they no longer cause us pain. But why do some scars fade and others stay?
Perhaps it is to remind us how we are brave.
She’s smiling now. “Mom, I did it you know. That back flip into the water, I did it! I just didn’t think about being so close to the wall.”
I could almost hear her say it.
“Next time, I’ll have to jump out farther.”
The sound of her ice pop being shoved back into her mouth stopped me from breaking her happy grin.
My little girl was far beyond mother’s milk now. Something else was making her strong.
And, He had the scars to prove it.
“I’ll never leave your side.”
Psalm 91:11-12 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot [or head] against a stone.