Scars of the Heart
Written by
Tess Hardwick
April 2011
Written by
Tess Hardwick
April 2011

My husband and I decided to downsize last summer so that I could continue to write without having to go back to a real job.  We were lucky enough to sell our other home and find a new construction town-home in a wonderful community.

The problem with this new home?  I feel keenly every dent, scratch and blemish in what only seven months ago was flawless.  I can’t go a day without seeing a new scar on the surface of something.

Today, Ella, my oldest daughter, while acting wild and unruly from being inside for days on end, knocked over a group of four metal picture frames that were leaning against the wall, waiting to be hung.  The stack fell hard against a corner of a wall, taking out several chunks of plaster and paint, and ruining one of the picture frames.

These are framed photos my husband took at the Il Borro resort in Tuscany several years ago when we there for a commitment ceremony of a dear friend.  Each time I pause to take these photos in, I’m carried away to the sights and smells of that vacation, of the friends we enjoyed, the meal meals we ate.  And I remember the aforementioned daughter, only two and a half then, her stomach full of fresh pasta, sleeping in the unlit hearth at the restaurant in Il Borro while the adults enjoyed meals, late into the night, Italian time.

It occurred to me today that these abrasions to my new home are a lot like what happens to us.  We’re all trudging along, doing the best we can, but still difficult things happen.  Lost relationships, deaths of loved ones, disappointments, lost dreams.  By the time we’ve been on the planet for a couple of decades or more, we’ve accumulated quite a few.

But we all begin unblemished, perfectly made by God, without any wounds or damage.  The longer we live, the more scars of the heart we accumulate, each heartbreak and disappointment hidden behind our flesh and bones, the internal scars not visible to the outside world.  But they are there just the same.

We’ll repair the wall with a little plaster and paint.  We’ll replace the frame.  But these wounds inside us, they remain.  The question is, do we allow them to inform the person we are, making us kinder, stronger, more able to see other’s wounds as something that connects us all, knowing we are the same?  Or do we allow them to make us bitter, judgmental, holding onto our scars like a battle shield, hoping to be impenetrable to further pain?

I suppose it’s a choice, one that we have to make each day, to make the trudge forward, wounds and all, fulfilling whatever purpose we born to do.     

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