Like thousands of carpooling moms across America, I drive a minivan. She's nothing special; she rolled off the General Motors assembly line well over a decade ago, and is fairly non-descript as minivans go.
And yet I can spot my Crane-mobile well across the Wal-Mart parking lot because of two clear distinctions: (1) A gaping 10" hole in the front right corner and, (2) a 4" deep divot in the rear passenger bumper. In general I'm not especially particular about my driving machine, but for some reason I'm self-conscious when it comes to these two blemishes. Recently I was idling at our school's crosswalk when a youngster whirled around and, aghast, proceeded to point out to the world that my washer fluid reservoir was nakedly visible through the broken fiberglass! Imagine that: ridiculed by an 8-yr-old! As a result, whether I'm driving on the Interstate to school, pulling into our Family Talk parking lot, or exiting my car at church, my mangled vehicle screams, "Watch out! Stay far, far away....this lady drives like a maniac!"
In defense I want to shout back, "Hey, you don't understand...these are not my scars! I didn't do this!" In truth, my car was christened by other members of my family: two seasoned drivers who just happened to be behind the wheel as it (1) slid through an icy intersection, and (2) backed into a hidden fencepost. Honest mistakes. But it's the car I drive. And because we can always find more urgent needs for our hard-earned money, these dual memories will remain in full view until my husband can find appropriate replacement parts at the local junkyard.
In other words: I daily bear the scars for another's actions.
When I stop to think about it, I'm ashamed for my selfish attitude. I'm ashamed that the very people for whom I claim I'd lay down my life, are the very ones I quickly distance myself from the moment they embarrass or inconvenience me. Even more, I'm convicted of the stark reality that this is merely a glimpse of the grief I caused my Lord when my sins were laid upon His shoulders. In true agape love, Jesus willingly bore my stains, my bruises, my dents and dings in front of a ridiculing world. He hung naked on that cross while passersby mocked His defiled image. All for me. I'm the one who callously slid through that icy intersection of life...not Him. I'm the one who brazenly backed into that dark corner of disgusting behavior...not Him. Yet He bore the shame. And He still does today, every time I refuse His direction.
So thank you, Lord, for my minivan bumper scars. They are a daily reminder of Your never-ending love and sacrifice for me.