Have you heard that wonderful new song by Casting Crowns—Scars in Heaven? The song which says that the only scars in heaven will be those on our beautiful Savior, Jesus. I believe this is biblical because our risen Savior had scars on His glorified body when He ascended into heaven (See John 20:26-27).
I cried the first time I heard this song. Even though my wonderful soulmate has been gone now for over 11 years, its lyrics catapulted me back to the 5 ½ year cancer journey that eventually took Ed’s earthly life. But I smiled despite my tears. It’s good to remember our loved ones, even if it’s mingled with the pain of loss.
However, the reason I smiled this time is because I have contemplated this idea before. That is: How can my beautiful Savior still be beautiful with all those ugly scars? And isn’t heaven supposed to be pain-free and beautiful? Ah—it’s all a matter of perspective! Perhaps this personal story will help you get a better understanding…
In the summer of 2004, I took Ed to the ER with extreme abdominal pain. The CT scan revealed diverticulitis, plus something suspicious on his pancreas. To make a long story short, after many tests and four agonizing months, surgery was recommended to remove what turned out to be an extremely rare form of pancreatic cancer.
In July, the tumor was only the size of a pencil eraser. By the time November rolled around, the surgically-removed tumor had grown to the size of a tennis ball! This cancer was aggressive to say the least. If the Lord had not intervened by giving Ed a severe case of diverticulitis, the cancer would have gone unnoticed and Ed would have died a lot sooner.
The surgery left a long scar from Ed’s sternum to his bellybutton. You would think that when I saw the scar it would be ugly to me and make me feel sad and less attracted to my husband. But that was not the case at all. That scar represented more years with my soulmate.
His scar was beautiful to me!
I appreciated Ed before, but he became even more precious to me because of this life-threatening cancer. And God became more precious to me too!
Because of the way God orchestrated the many events and circumstances in catching this aggressive tumor early. Every time I saw that scar, I was reminded of God’s love for me and Ed. It also reminded me to cherish whatever time I had left with my wonderful man.
His scar gave me a new and right perspective—an eternal one.
Although it was hard, God’s grace enabled me to focus on Jesus and the eternal work God was doing, instead of the here and now, instead of the potential loss of my man.
Ed’s scar was beautiful not only because of the extra years I would have with him, but also because God was producing good and lasting fruit as we abided in Christ the Vine.
Will Ed still have that scar in heaven? I doubt it. The Bible tells us that believers will get new glorified bodies. However, I think that our Savior will still have His because His wounds are the result of the eternal punishment He endured for us.
I also think Christ’s scars are beautiful because they represent the humongous sacrifice that saved our souls from eternal agony! His many scars (not just one) will be a forever reminder of God’s indescribable love! My suggestion: let’s not wait till we get to heaven to contemplate those beautiful scars and the meaning behind them.
So until next time, my friends…
…Do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor 4:16-18)
Watch Casting Crowns video: Scars in Heaven
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide