Open Wound

March 12, 2009 | 16 comments

“You shouldn’t feel a thing,” he reassured me as I stretched myself out on the white-sheeted table.

The doctor grabbed the scalpel from the metal tray, and leaned in toward my left shin. He pressed into numbed flesh.

He retraced the “Y” — opening an old wound. For he had to get at what was underneath.


A few hours before scalpel met flesh, the doctor told me something was wrong. You should have healed better by now, he said. It has been almost two months, after all, since the car accident.

But the trauma of a parking brake jamming into my left leg cut a wound bigger than I had known.

So this morning, the doctor told me he would need to reopen the wound, drain it, restitch tissue underneath and then close the wound once again.

I panicked. Tears tumbled down my cheeks.

I didn’t cry over anticipated pain.

I didn’t cry over fear of infection.

I didn’t cry over further medical complications.

I cried over the possibility that the “Y” would be gone.


He gave me a puzzled glance when I told him about the “Y.” I felt so silly, a grown woman crying over a scar.

So I told my doctor the story I’ve told here, about the Y-shaped scar imprinted on my leg.

“Doc,” I said, “I know this is going to sound strange, but that scar means a lot to me.”

He chuckled, but tenderly took my hands: “Yea, it sounds a bit strange, but I’ve probably heard stranger things. Go on,” he prompted.

“Well, right before my car accident, I was speaking the name of Yahweh, and I was singing a song with His name, and I was talking to Him, and that’s when the accident happened and … .” I tripped over my words, struggling to find the right ones to describe something so deeply personal, so deeply spiritual.

The scar, I told him, is more than a physical mark. I continued: “I don’t want to push my faith on you. But I know what I know: This is God’s mark on me. It’s a ‘Y’ for Yahweh. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I think it’s God’s way of reminding me He was there. He protected me.”

He took my leg in his hands and traced the Y with his fingertips. “Not strange at all.”

And right then, he made me a promise: He wouldn’t change the Y, or destroy handiwork that I believed to be God’s.

“Most likely,” the doctor said with a grin, “when I get through with you, this Y will be more obvious than it was before.”


The doctor carefully cut along the scar. While I lay still, he asked questions about the accident. I told him about answered prayers. We talked a bit about miracles. Together, we marveled at how it all turned out.

He drained the wound, cut away some tissue, then stitched together the wound into a perfect “Y.”

A few days ago, I blogged about my “Y” scar.

I wrote:

Plastic surgery could fix it. Time could fade it. Pants, if long enough, could conceal it.

But I want to keep it.

The world finds a scar like this disfiguring, ugly. Yet I find it beautiful, a reminder of Yahweh’s protection.

This scar, I pray, will last all my earthly days.

I won’t have to wait until the last day to know if it lasts. Today, I received assurance.

Eight days ago, I feared my scar would disappear. Today, it was carved in deeper.

Beautiful irony …

by | March 12, 2009 | 16 comments


  1. Prairie Chick

    oh. I am weeping. I love your scar. I love your heart.

  2. sharilyn

    wow. that’s all i have to say about that. what a beautiful story. what a beautiful God. what beauty from the ashes of woundedness. our Father is so very, very loving…so very, very good. thank you for sharing, jennifer… and thank You, Yahweh, for your heart for us!

  3. Billy Coffey

    That you are so protective of your scar isn’t strange, it’s wonderful. Too many of us want our scars gone because, as your doctor said, “You shouldn’t feel a thing.”

    But we should. Oh yes, we should.

  4. patty

    Once again Jennifer, thank you for sharing your heart. I too, am sitting at my computer weeping, praising God not only for your Y shaped scar, but for the scars in my all our lives that are constant reminders of His Love, Grace,
    Protection and Faithfulness! Bless you…
    btw, love the picture, it reminds me of a word picture in “A Grief Observed” about the master surgeon.

  5. Daughter of the King

    Oh, that is just beautiful, Jennifer!

    Thank you for sharing.

    (a fellow Iowan…Cedar Rapids!)

  6. Julie


    This is absolutely beautiful. You have such a way with words. How awesome that you were able to share your true feelings and emotions with your doctor and for him to understand. I pray for a speedy recovery for you!


  7. Lori

    You do know how to bring a girl to tears. KUTGW.

  8. Carol

    Isn’t that wonderful how you can continue to share you message with everyone you meet, now a doctor has had a hand in this story and he helped you keep your Y so the story can go on!!!! Love, Carol

  9. The Hohensee's

    What a surprise for your doctor. I’m sure you made his day!

  10. mom2six


  11. Marcus Goodyear

    Interesting thing about scars, though, is that we can’t feel them. The flesh there is dead.

    I guess, that’s what happens when we’re touched by God? Isaiah’s lips were burned. God overwhelms us. Our bodies can’t handle it.

  12. Chrissy

    Amazing how He leaves his prints on our lives isn’t it?

  13. Darlene

    unbelievable post. your words pierce my heart. Yahweh… by your wounds we are healed. Praise Him!

    you have a gift, my dear friend.

  14. hope42day

    I am in tears. How blessed to recognize the blessing of this scar and what a blessing the doctor listened and understood.

  15. Tea With Tiffany

    Wow, that’s amazingly beautiful. Your Y scar. Thank you, Jesus.

  16. Kiesha

    After you left a comment on my blog, I ventured back to your blog to read some more. I found this post, and the others related to your accident. I can so relate to how you feel about your scar. My story is a little different. I bear many scars from a car accident when I was 16, but would not change a one for anything in this world. They remind me of those who were lost in my car accident (4 people including my older sister, my friend and her 4 yr old daughter). They also remind me that God had more work here for me to do. I look at them daily and am reminded that God saved me for a purpose, I had many injuries and barely survived.

    And although it took a while, a few years actually for my anger to subside at living when so many lives where lost, I now know that God had his reasons and it was there time and there was still work for me to do here.

    Even with the medical issues I am facing now, my scars are a reminder of what God can do and I try to rest in that.

    Thank you for that post, it was a reminder because sometimes even with all of my scars I forget.


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