It would probably surprise very few of you that I have a lot of scars. They’re scattered across my fingers, my hands, on my knees, ankles and shins. Some are small, others are long. Most have faded enough that I have to search for them, but when I find them I run my fingertips over the raised skin, touching pain that has faded to a whisper.
To most people, my scars are evidence of my clumsiness. While that’s true, each of my scars tells a story. Not a story of tripping or falling down, but of living.
The wavy line on the inside of my middle finger is the story of a little girl, sitting on the edge of the bathroom sink, hiccuping and crying while her father showed a fleeting moment of tenderness as he placed a band-aid over her cut.
The white diamond on my knee is the scene of a teenager riding her bike hard and fast, waking up from her dreams of escape as she slides across the pavement.
The pink bump on my knuckle is the tale of a young woman, far from home, cooking for her new friends, trying desperately to make them like her–to stop the loneliness.
The long, numb crescent around my thumb is the account of an exhausted adult who found that deliverance and pain can be intricately woven together.
My scars tell my story. They are the punctuation in my sentences. Some are exclamation points of pain. Others are commas, moments of waiting, of clutching my suffering close, afraid to even look at the scars on my skin.
But in them, I find no shame. They are mistakes made.