The hum of the window A/C unit behind me almost carries me into a stupor.
I pick my head up, stretching it backwards hoping for a few crackles and pops, and blink a little harder than I normally would. I can feel my contact lenses crying out for some moisture, but they’re going to have to wait. It’s a Monday morning, and it doesn’t matter how well I slept Sunday night, it’s hard to wake myself up.
I yawn, and open my laptop, only to find the same blinking cursor that caused me to close it in the first place. What do I have to say? Anything? I lay my fingers across the keys, and look down. Fingers that have been in some beautiful, scandalous places. Fingers that are constantly reborn, with new layers of skin, and new fingernails every so often. The only things that stay the same are the scars.
I have a scar on my left pinky finger where I smashed it around fifteen years ago. I was trying to work a piece of lumber loose from the stack it was sitting on, and giving it one last pull with all my strength it came loose like it was never stuck, and carried my finger straight into the cast iron shelf behind it. I was wearing gloves, and didn’t even want to take them off to look at it. I knew it was bad. I shattered my fingertip, got some stitches, and lost a fingernail. All I have to show for it is three small scars that you’d never notice unless you were looking for them.
I have another scar on my left middle finger, between my knuckles, where I burned myself with cooking oil while trying to deep-fry some breaded mushrooms around twelve years ago. I got the first few mushrooms out of the scalding hot oil, and made the rookie mistake of rinsing the spoon in the sink. When I put that cool, wet spoon back into the pan, it steamed up so quickly and profusely that I dropped it, splattering the whole area with hot oil. Some of that got on my fingers, and I can still see it.
I have another scar on my left thumb, right on top where my finger meets the nail. I don’t even remember where I got it. It’s the easiest one to see, and whatever happened to it must have been pretty painful.
I guess we all have scars. I have a few that aren’t on my fingers, and I have a few more that I carry around on the inside, where no one will ever see them. It’s okay, though, because while a scar can tell a story, it also means a wound has healed. I spent some time a few years ago telling myself that I had scars, when what I really had were open wounds. I carried them everywhere, and I pushed them into every conversation, and every paragraph that I wrote, screaming HELP ME THIS REALLY HURTS, with tears in my eyes, and blood pouring from a litany of wounds that everyone could see but me.
I’m thankful for my scars. I’m thankful they’ve healed. I’m also thankful for the open wounds that I’m nursing right now. They’ll heal up, and I’ll have brand new scars to add to the ever-alternating canvas that is my life.
Nothing stays the same, and you can’t really appreciate heaven until you’ve spent some time in hell, right?
Thanks for reading.