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I have a number of scars. When I was born I was a heifer. Forceps were required which left two grooved scars on my forehead and cheek. I often tell people this was the result of being bottled to make me seem more edgy. I also use to make a regular routine of falling out of cars and cracking my head open, so this equals more scars. When I was seven years old I woke up in excruciating pain. I could barely walk, which was annoying because I desperately needed a wee. Turns out I had appendicitis, which in 1987 resulted in some hospital time. Various other knocks and scraps have taken their toll on my frame over the years but it is this 23 year old scar that is most impressive. Which is because it leaked when I got home from hospital and I had to be restitched up.

As crazy as it sounds I use to be petrified of going down slides on my belly incase my scar ripped open, if I’m honest I’m still not keen on the old belly down slide action. In Christian circles I see a lot of scars. Some caused by life some caused by churches and other Christians. These friendly fire scars seem to have become a badge of honour these days. I hear a lot of Christians who have been hurt this way and given up on the church and sometimes given up on Jesus too.

I know these scars hurt and I’m not saying we should be nonchalant about them but surely there’s a better way?

Genesis 32:24-26 ‘So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”’

Jacob’s scar was caused by God Himself, and after he has been wounded Jacob asks for a blessing. He risks more scars to ask for a blessing. Every day Jacob walked for the rest of his life he would have remembered what God had done. He had the ultimate altar on his hip. What scars do you carry? Can you turn them into an altar? Can you use your scars to honour God?