I sat on the edge of the examination table, stiff white paper crinkling beneath me.
It was Tuesday afternoon — nearly five months after my accident — and I found myself back in the doctor’s office.
Six weeks ago, here at Getting Down With Jesus, I claimed healing. For the last six weeks, I prayed for it. And I believed it. And I thanked Him in advance for it.
I had put my trust in the Healer.
But on this Tuesday afternoon, I waited for words from a doctor in a room where wounds are the speciality. For some who sit there on crinkling white paper, healing can take months, even years.
Now it was my turn. How much longer would this last? I knew the answer before the doctor uttered a word.
The doctor took my left leg in his hands and pushed up the pant leg: “Let’s take a look at this, shall we?”
The mark on my left leg is the last bit of physical evidence of what happened on that snowy morning in January — though I’m marked in deeper ways that transcend flesh.
The crash happened while I was driving to a spiritual retreat planning session.
Doing God’s work, I was. But there’s no promise that those who love Him are shielded from pain. It can be easy to believe that if we are following God, He will give us a trouble-free path to walk … Or to drive.
On my way to do His work, I was listening to a song with the repeated refrain: “Yahweh, Holy is Your name.” Over and over again, I sang out His name.
On my way to do His work — while singing Yahweh’s name — a car careened into my path. No time to react.
Thoughts raced, flipbook style.
Four-door car. In my lane. Yahweh! Swerve. No chance. We’re gonna hit. We’re gonna hit. Can’t stop. Here we go … Steel on steel. Crumple. Seatbelt snaps. Airbag smacks. Glass shatters. Breathe, Jennifer. Yahweh. Eyes open. I win either way. I feel you here, God. Yahweh. I feel you here. Thud. Stop.
By all accounts, the accident ended miraculously, with only minor injuries to both drivers. The emergency parking brake slammed through my skin, deep into my muscle and tissue, leaving a gaping wound.
The mark on my leg has a name: “the Yahweh scar.”
Yahweh spared my life — and He left me with a scar. It’s a tattoo of His first initial: the letter Y.
Let me sing it again: “Yahweh, Holy is Your name.”
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?
Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble,
… or are threatened with death?
No, despite all these things,
overwhelming victory is ours through Christ,
who loved us.
— Romans 8:35-37
On the exam table, the doctor held my leg in one hand, and pressed gently with the other — knowing by touch what was happening in unseen places beneath a scar.
“Proud flesh,” he said.
“Come again?” I said, caught off guard by a term I’d never heard in my five months of doctoring.
“I say, you’ve had some proud flesh here,” he said. “Proud flesh is basically swollen tissue around a healing wound. Happens a lot in horses, but can happen in humans, too.”
Proud flesh — so-called because like one’s pride, the tissue swells.
It can hinder healing. I should know.
For the last five months, the Y-shaped wound on my leg has been a lesson for my life. And for my proud flesh.
What have I learned?
* That the appearance of outward healing can be deceptive; hidden wounds fester underneath.
* That when my proud flesh says “no” to offers of help, I deny friends the opportunity to extend grace.
* That scars are signs that healing has begun.
* That sometimes the best route to healing is the slowest: from the Inside Out.
* That, on this side of the Fall, I will have trouble. But on this side of the Cross, God redeems every bit of it.
* That nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. Nothing.
On Tuesday, the doctor gripped my leg in his hands and let out a long breath before he delivered the news:
“You know, it’s good to win one,” he said, then looked up at me. “And you know: We’ve won this one.”
Yes, I knew. I really knew.
Thank you, Yahweh.
And Jesus said … “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33
Photos: Three months ago and now. If I want the scar to fade, the doctor advises protecting it from sunlight. Guess who’s planning to spend a lot of time in the sun this summer? I fully intend to keep this scar. Our scars tell a story; they identify us. And when we show them, we stand in good company. For Jesus still bears His scars — an eternal mark of love.