Nearly a year ago, I went through a thought process that was triggered by scars I have on my body. As I sat gazing at the scars on the top of my hands, I was taken down memory lane.
I have a scar on my left-middle finger about half an inch below my fingernail. Two more are on my right hand between my thumb and index finger. These pale markings on my body don’t mean much by themselves. But when I look at them, I am vividly reminded of the events that caused them. In other words, these scars serve as memory cues for events that have occurred in my life.
The scars on my right hand were the result of playing a game with a cat that also involved a ball of yarn. When the cat dove for the yarn, it clipped my hand instead of the yarn. I can’t look at these scars without being reminded of that black and white cat, sitting on the floor of my parent’s living room, and playing with the violet ball of yarn.
My middle finger was a complete accident. When I was in boy scouts, I was building a little car for my ward’s Pinewood Derby competition. My sweet mother was helping me build it. In order to put the car together, we had to use a hot glue gun to assemble all of the different parts into one great whole. Unfortunately, part of the melted glue fell off of the gun and landed on my middle finger. As it scorched my skin, I remember running upstairs and trying to get my hand to the sink. But the pain was so much for my 10-year-old body that I collapsed on the stairs because of the excruciating pain. My mother, being the hero that she has always been to me, carried me up the stairs and took care of my injury.
The Savior’s Scars
I would be willing to argue that most, if not all, of us have scars. And if you have those scars, you would probably be able to trace the event that preceded those scars. While thinking about all of these scars, my mind was drawn to the scars that carry the most significant meaning behind the most significant event that has ever occurred in human history. During the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, he sustained a series of brutal injuries as he was nailed to the cross by his hands, wrists, and feet. After hours of hanging on the cross, his side was pierced by a spear to ensure that he was dead.
Upon his resurrection, his perfect-glorified body retained these scars as a means to prove both who he is and what he has done. Following his resurrection, he revealed himself to many. He invited them to touch and observe the scars in his hands, feet, and side (Luke 24: 36-39; 3 Nephi 11: 14-15). These scars served as a testimony to his divinity and nature as the resurrected Savior of the world. In addition to this, however, I think they mean something more.
What Scars Mean
My own scars serve as representations and memories of events in my life. When I take the time to look at them, I am mindful of why they are there. Christ has told us that he has “graven [us] upon the palms of [his] hands” (Isaiah 49: 16). For Christ, those scars represent a significant thing: you and me. I believe that every time he sees those scars Himself, he is mindful of what He has done for each one of us. Those scars were used to serve as proof of His divinity. But they were also a reminder to him of the merciful and majestic thing that He did for every one of us.
Towards the end of the Book of Mormon, Mormon reminds his son, Moroni, that Jesus Christ has been “mindful” of him (Moroni 8:2). We have been instructed by the prophet Nephi to “liken” the scriptures unto ourselves (1 Nephi 19:23). We, too, need to be reminded at times that Jesus Christ is also mindful of us. Ammon testified that God is “mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in…and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth” (Alma 26:37). This applies to me, to you, and to everyone you will ever meet. We should not disregard these principles when we are feeling alone, forgotten, and in the deepest pits of despair. Because Christ has graven all of us on the palms of his hands, He carries those markings and, consequently, the memory of us with Him every where He goes.
Gratitude for Scars
One day, I am going to be called “go home”. I will be able to see the man who has made my life meaningful, purposeful, and hopeful. I believe I, like the Nephites and those he showed himself to in Jerusalem, will behold the nail marks in his hands and in his feet. And I will receive that visual witness that Christ is my Savior and yours. And the Savior of all the people that you and I will ever encounter.