Lately, I feel and often hear, “I am a different person after 2020.” Sharing about the many changes people have moved through; indescribable losses which came on suddenly; you too may feel “life is not normal anymore.” It’s a long list for 2020, full of great sufferings witnessed and personally experienced. What did the suffering change? Do we appear different after 2020?
At Christmastime, dear friends sent me a lovely box of pears from the Harry & David orchards. The company added a small insert in the box to describe a difference about their pears:
Noticing unique markings on your Royal Riviera® Pears? These blemishes are called wind scars and are the result of high winds whipping tree branches and causing abrasions to the skin of our delicate pears. Sadly, these same winds contributed to the spread of devastating fires in our Southern Oregon community – destroying homes and displacing countless people.
We often pride ourselves in the beauty of our Royal Riviera® Pears, and this harvest is no exception, if only in a different way. These scars are a reminder of what our community has been through and how we’ve rallied to support one another. The untouched, juicy, delicious interior of the pear demonstrates – it’s what’s inside that counts.”
This brilliant metaphor speaks to how we too, are different after 2020. How do we look to others?
“Wind-scarred,” yes? We are all recovering from the fierce, sweeping winds of change. Change often including suffering. Thankfully, we have One who suffered for us. A Savior whose very scars heal us. The changes, the suffering, the scars – all may be occasions for us to draw deeply within Our Lord’s sheltering arms. We are transformed, in the storm, in His Heart, and precious scars.
Have I ever prayed that His scars would be life-giving to me, to my loved ones, to His precious creation of people all over the world? Am I angry about the fierce winds, “scarred for life?” Yes! Together may we pray our anger is transformed into joy as we cherish our likeness to our Savior. May we view one another’s scars as beautiful – remembering they nod to our desperate need.
O Holy Spirit, Your presence is closer to us than the very breath we breathe. Allow the winds of circumstances and suffering to transform us deep within. May we appear different because of 2020. May we shine Your peace, Your compassion, Your forgiveness, Your unchangeable Faithfulness. Keep us humble, please. Rally us! We will share Your healing scars as balm for our neighbor. O how we love You, Sweet Lamb of God.
Halleluiah and Amen.