One of my lessons on compassion came with THE SCAR. I was in my early thirties when thyroid surgery left me with a scar that went all the way across the base of the front of my neck (the metal clips they used to hold my neck together reminded me of Frankenstein!) The good news was that after removing a golfball-sized lump from my thyroid, I could breathe deeply again. Yes!!
Well, for a while anyway.
Anyway, after the surgery, my mom bought me blouses with collars that I could button up to hide my scar so it wasn’t noticeable. The blouses helped me to get through the ‘honeymoon period’ of getting used to the ‘new’ me. Little did we know that years later, I would have to have thyroid surgery again. The first time, I was terrified. It was my first major surgery. Ten years later, I had walked with God long enough to trust that what ever the results were going to be, something good was going to come out of it.
The results were not quite like the first time around. There were more complications with the second surgery. One of the consequences was that for a while my neck really looked horrible and I could only swallow by tilting my head down. This made eating quite difficult. Holding my head up for long periods of time was challenging. Still, it could have been much worse.
After the second surgery, Mom gave me a beautiful choker to help camouflage my neckline. While the necklace was lovely, what helped me most after the second surgery was actually the scar itself. Every time I looked in the mirror, I was grateful. I called it my, “I don’t have cancer” scar. I grew used to a ‘new’ me again and focused on trying to recover from the results of the second surgery, which had affected my ability to sing.
Anyway, through the surgeries God gave me many opportunities to learn a few more lessons on thoughtfulness. He reminded me about the importance of showing acceptance for and kindness to people who may be disfigured. He began to teach me how to appreciate the differences in others, to focus on their character, pay attention to what’s going on between their ears, and the rest of the unique package that makes them loveable. He also helped me to see a little more clearly why I must encourage those who are insecure about using their talents; since there are times when singing can still be a struggle for me. Most importantly, I think that he also began to teach me that it’s okay not to be perfect.
I struggle so much with my imperfections. Yet God speaks to my heart that He still loves me even though I’m not perfect. I have found that God’s love takes the pressure off trying to dot every i and cross every t. I never have been perfect and I never will be on this side of heaven. And it’s alright. No one else is perfect either, even though they may sometimes pretend to be (smiles). We’ll make it together. If we place our lives in God’s most capable hands, He will reshape us into His image, so we are more like Christ, who is perfect. We will see each other more clearly through lens of love and with hearts of compassion.
That’s enough for today, but I hope that you will return soon. There’s another part of the story that I have yet to tell you. Just when I thought I was getting the knack of accepting myself and others, there came the day of the CANE!
NOT THE DREADED CANE!!!
Okay, I’m calm… I’m calm.
Until next time, may God bless you with a heart of compassion. It will certainly may your journey more joyful.
Questions to consider: What imperfections in your life have weighed you down? What are you doing about them?
Scriptures that may help you on your journey:
Psalm 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Psalm 145:8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
Matthew 20:34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
1 Peter 3:8 AMP 8 Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).