Not having had much chance to watch anything new this week I thought I’d revisit a classic moment from that aquatic, toothfilled epic, Jaws. Whilst on a mission to catch a great white shark, Marine expert Hooper and top shark-catcher Quint swap tales and show off their various scars.
There’s no question that life damages us as we trek through it. Some of our scars are on the outside, but many, like Hooper’s battered heart, are not readily on show. We carry them with us, quietly tucked away in the storeroom of our being. Perhaps that’s what makes Isaiah’s prophecy about Jesus all the more poignant and powerful: ‘By his wounds we are healed.’ By his stripes. By his scars. Jesus bore all kinds of scars from his living on earth. No doubt he bashed his thumb from time to time in his work, or dropped heavy rocks on his foot. He was wounded repeatedly by his enemies when they insulted and belittled him in public. And most famously, he was whipped and beaten and nailed to a Roman cross as he surrendered himself to all that this world could throw at him. And all of this so that we can now talk to him, tell him about our scars, and ask for his help to move forward.
It can be frightening and difficult to face these things. I am currently reading the story of Naaman in 2 Kings chapter 5. It was tough for him to face up to his weakness, and the internal and external scars he must have sustained over the years. Visiting the prophet Elisha for help was no walk in the park. And then, when Elisha offered him a way forward, it wasn’t what he wanted at all and it took him a while to do something. I can relate to some of that. Perhaps we all can. The good news of Isaiah’s prophecy is that Jesus can (and does) offer us help.