Last month oldest son had a freak tennis accident. He was running for the ball when he collided with the tennis net post and cut his leg badly. His doubles partner continued playing and even went on to win the point while oldest son was on the floor. Alas although they were ahead in the match, a set and a break up, they then had to forfeit due to the injury.
The first I heard was a phone call from the tennis coach.
“Your son has cut his leg and needs to go to A&E to get it stitched.”
Fortunately the nearest hospital is only a few hundred yards along the road from the tennis club but I never realised just how dangerous tennis was before.
“You can see the bone.” I was informed by my son when I arrived shortly after. I didn’t want to look.
We waited and waited and eventually we were seen by a young doctor, a very young looking doctor – isn’t that when you know you are getting old?
Anyway because this young medic was also a keen sportsman he erred on the side of caution and decided not to stitch up the wound straight away but get a plastics consultant to look at it to assess if there was any tendon damage.
And so we waited for another two days before finally oldest son was operated on under general anaesthetic. Fortunately there was no tendon damage but it’s always better to be safe than sorry and he has a tale to tell.
“You’ll have a great scar,” I told him, “and when you get a girlfriend she’ll love it!”
He looked at me with all the distain of a teenage boy to his mother, as if I was mad.
“I’d rather not have a scar at all.”
Yes wouldn’t we all!
No scars, no bruises, no visible marks to show the life we have lived.
Andrew had his appendix out when he was six or maybe it was eight, all I know is he was a very young child and he had been very poorly with it. And so he was left with thin scar on his abdomen which completely fascinated me as someone who’d never had an operation.
As we lay in bed sometimes I would run my finger along it, just because as his wife I could, I wouldn’t recommend you go up to anyone in the street and do it.
I was amazed at how he’d been stitched back together and that although he had “nearly died” (his words but apparently true as his appendix was twisted almost bursting or whatever the medical terminology is) here he was all mended. Sometimes I even thought he was saved just for me so we could be together – melodramatic I know but I have some crazy thoughts that run around my head!
Now of course it is me who wears a scar, an invisible one that runs across my heart, cracked and broken, patched up but not totally mended, it never will be.
We all have scars and bruises, that’s what makes us human. It is those blemishes and marks that tell our story, show what we have lived through.
Our scars show our vulnerability and they can be strangely attractive.
One day I have no doubt oldest son will find a girl who will trace the line below his knee and be captivated by his story of bravery and how he got his “war wound” – seven stitches in total.
OK so there will probably be a lot of laughter to go with it because let’s face it running into a tennis net post is essentially a stupid thing to do, especially when you are already winning the match and the point isn’t crucial.
But it shows the character of my son, his determination and drive to do the best he can.
My own scars show I have the ability to love deeply.
One of my favourite songs this year has been Bruises by Train and Ashley Monroe, I know all the words and sing along in the car at the top of my voice, complete with American accent.
I would love to fix it all for you
I would love to fix you too
Please don’t fix a thing whatever you do.
These bruises make for better conversation…
You’re not alone in how you’ve been
We all got bruises
Of course the most important scars in the whole wide world are the one’s Jesus has on his hands and feet from being nailed to the cross. I’ve read somewhere that these scars will always remain, even in Heaven, when we have new bodies and everything is made whole.
While our bruises fade away Jesus’s scars act as a reminder of what he went through for us – now you can believe that or not but I for one can’t wait to see those particular scars for real, perhaps even touch and marvel at the immense love they show…