My dad is a painter, but not the ‘afro’ rocking Bob Ross type. He is a white pants-wearing craftsmanship whose canvas is in houses and businesses. Since before I was born, he has been painting, and one of my earliest memories was when he was painting a house. It was 1978. I was a spry 4-year-old fit for an ad in the Sears catalog. As my dad painted the outside of the house, my brother and I tried our best to torment each other.

We mulled around dad's toolbox, looking for some way to help the time pass by. There it was… a hammer! My brother and I spotted it at the same time. There is a problem. We only had one hammer, so now it was just a matter of speed and strength. Our eyes locked onto the hammer while dialing up the strategy to overpower one another. We grabbed the hammer at the same time. My brother is two years older than I am, but I held my own until we reached a stalemate. We both gripped the hammer with resolve until my brother decided he would just let go. To my surprise, he released as the momentum of the hammer pulled it towards me, and then, it happened. The claw end of a 16 oz. hammer rammed right into my chin. The good news? I got the hammer. The bad news? I got the hammer.

There is probably a good reason for this, but I can remember the radio's music when I go through traumatic events. (Yes, three NMR’s with music references! ) The turntables in my amygdala and hippocampus have some well-worn grooves, and the tune that was playing on this day was “Hot Blooded” by Foreigner. No, I am not making this up. Yes, it is weird. It’s okay. Just say it. I still have this scar even 42 years later. It is a reminder to win the foot race to retrieve the hammer!

Scars are intriguing. They come in all shapes and sizes, some physical or emotional and others spiritual or relational. Scars are either a badge of honor or dishonor, but they are rarely benign. It has been said, “Scars remind us of where we’ve been. They don’t have to dictate where we are going.” That’s worth a second read.

Scars come from trauma.

Health scare. Bankruptcy, Divorce. Job loss. PTSD. Abuse. Bad decision. Car accident.

Diagnosis. Loss of a loved one. Victim of a violent crime.

Signs of unhealed trauma.

  1. Avoidance
  2. Re-living the events.
  3. Defeating thought patterns.
  4. Harming oneself intentionally.
  5. Being extremely alert or "on guard."

Scars and trauma can either be a tool for our victory or a signal of our defeat.

We cannot choose our trauma, but we can choose what we do after it.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but Jesus can.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:19

The point being. Trauma and scars are real.

You may never be able to make sense of them, but you can heal from them.

Healing takes longer than we would like, and It is messier than we think. More pain often results from the healing, but being well is worth the struggle.

Take it to Jesus and some trusted friends in a committed relationship.

This is the place of healing.

Get healing.

Ask Jesus.

Invite friends.


Give some manliness to your friends