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Dear Hyde Park Family,


Many of us have scars we wish would disappear. I have a burn mark on my right forearm from when I once touched a hot piece of equipment. Madelyn has a scar over her left eye from stitches she needed after falling off her bicycle. Grace has a scar on her cheek from when she was born. And I, like many of you, have scars that are invisible to the eye. They are from wounds in our spirit that reach deep within our past, etched by heartache, grief, doubt, or remorse. They are a lingering reminder of what we’ve been through, and what we’ve become as a result.

Consider the enduring scars of people in the Bible. There’s Jacob’s limp, or Adam’s sweat, or Paul’s thorn. Then there are stories from literary and popular culture: Odysseus’ foot, Luke Skywalker’s hand, Alice’s scrapes from Wonderland, and Harry Potter’s mark on his forehead.

Yes, scars recall old wounds. But they can also offer encouragement. They can remind us that in those moments when we could have played it safe, we chose to take a risk. When we could have chosen the easy way out, we decided to stay and struggle. When times got tough, we didn’t run and hide. Instead of giving up, we persisted through the pain, and survived to tell about it.

Sometimes, life’s most formative experiences are not the triumphs on the mountain top, but those born in the crucible of our deepest anguish. Those are the moments that stretched us until we thought we would break, bruised us until we thought we were bloodless, and pushed us until we thought we would never stand again. But the scars remind us that we did more than survive. We experienced the most powerful and central Christian realities:


In John’s gospel, the resurrected body of Jesus still showed his scars. The nail spots in his hands and feet, the piercing of his side, the thorn marks on his head. Yes, he could walk through closed doors and ascend into the clouds. But when it came to proving the resurrection, he pointed to those scars. “Jesus showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” (John 20:20)

Look back on your life. Yes, you have been through a lot. More than you might feel you deserve. And at the time, it was more than you thought you could handle. But look at yourself, at all those scars and bruises, especially the ones so deep inside you that only you and God can see.

There’s no reason to be ashamed of them.

No reason to hide them.

They are living proof that God has seen you through.

Grace and peace,


The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist