I only have 9 ½ fingers.

Inevitably, when I tell people for the first time, they respond with small gasps and the request: “I want to see it!” I smile and hold my hands up next to each other so that they can see my pinkies lined up next to each other, with the right pinkie half the length of the left one. They flinch and cringe and tell me how painful it must have been and though I’m sure it was, I was so young when I lost the digit that I don’t recall—though I’ve heard plenty of stories from my parents and brother about how dramatic my screams were.

It seems to me that the scars that hurt me the most are the ones that are hardest to show—or to see. The scars that come from being molested, raped, abused, and neglected—those are the ones that I keep locked away in the closet and don’t hold up to show the public. Well, until I started blogging anyway. And they’re also the scars that when I do show them, people don’t say, “I want to see it!” Instead, they look at the floor and shake their heads and press their lips together because they don’t know what to say. And that’s completely understandable.

A couple of years ago, my friend, Stacey, challenged me about my scars. He’s a very loving person, but he doesn’t mince words. He said something along these lines:

We all have scars. Why do you keep trying to hide yours? Don’t you know that scars are what heal you? It wasn’t until the disciples saw Jesus’ scars that they recognized who He was. And when they recognized who He was, then they knew that they could be healed. When people see your scars—and how you’ve healed—then they know that they can be healed, too. Quit hiding your scars!

I couldn’t deny the truth of what Stacey said that day and I still can’t.

So much of my life—my energy, my time—is spent trying to protect myself and ensure that I don’t get hurt. Or that those I love don’t get hurt. The sad fact is that we are all going to be hurt from time to time. But we choose whether we heal. We choose how we heal. And we choose whether or not something good will come from the pain that befell us. When we heal and then allow our scars to show, we become hope in someone else’s life that when they are hurt—and they will be—that they can heal, too.

“My knees are dusty orange, stained by the soil into which they press for hours as I beg God for the mercy and strength to continue. My tears flow into puddles that do not soak into the red, parched earth of Uganda. The puddles and the colors of my knees remind me that I was not to leave this life unstained or unscarred. Even Jesus kept His scars after the resurrection. My stains are beautiful to Him and as I become dirtier and more beat up, I am becoming perfect, transformed into the image of the One who made me. And I am thankful.” – Katie Davis, from Kisses from Katie

This post was the final post of our weekly book discussion on Katie Davis’s book Kisses from Katie. We appreciate all of you who have participated. If you have written a response to this chapter, please drop by my co-facilitator’s place and link up at the widget you will find there! 

About Sarah Salter


  1. I had a similar conversation with a woman in our church family. For the first time, she’s started opening up about some very painful things that have happened in order to minister to others. It took a work of God’s healing to get her there, but I told her that we only have freedom in the areas we are willing to expose to the light. Everything we work so hard to keep hidden only serves to drag us down, but God is after our freedom and wholeness. He shows up and He shows off, over and over and over again. Thanks Sarah.

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason, it comes down to shame. I hope she understands that she has no reason to feel shame and because she doesn’t have reason to feel shame, then she doesn’t need to hide anymore. But I also know that it takes a while for us to get to the point of knowing that.

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