Scarlet Reminders

As we take that thirty minute drive that begins on our bumpy county road and ends at the Lord’s House, I investigate my dress boots.

I really need black shoe polish. Or do I?

That scuff mark, boot scar, brings back a painful memory, a fond memory, a hilarious memory. Yeah, a memory can comprise all those feelings. The bad can be good if we look through the right lens.

It all started the day I fell in McDonald’s parking lot on the way to church … Lottie Moon offering day, a year ago. We had just received a good ice storm, and more than wallets and pancakes were flipped that day. After landing on my stomach, 0 to 60, I arrived at church with a busted and bleeding chin, a cut knee, a bruised body, torn jeans, teary eyes.

“Did you inform the restaurant owners?” someone asked. 

“No, I love McDonald’s.” I smiled. “I don’t blame them. It wasn’t their fault.” 

And every Sunday morning as we arrive there to eat pancakes before church, we all point to the place by the curb where I fell and proclaim, “And there … there I fell.” We smile. We laugh. The girls roll their eyes over our silliness. Relief overcomes. Gratefulness overcomes. 

My beloved, scarred jeans hang in the closet. They were my favorite pair.

I don’t pull them out too much these days because I’m from that generation that doesn’t purposely wear holes in their clothes … and that’s an issue hard to overcome.

It wasn’t long after the fall that my appendix had to be removed (and three more minor organs due to the appendix infection). And regardless of what any doctor says, I’ll always wonder if the two incidents were connected. If one caused the other. So when I see my boot and denim scars, not only do I remember the fall, but I remember the surgery scars, as well. They were so closely together.

And with those scars, I don’t remember only the bad. I remember the healing. And why, when I was in that hospital, my big-as-a-grizzly-bear, soft-hearted-as-a-Teddy-bear uncle drove three hours to visit and bring me flowers. He still calls me “baby” and uses a voice with me like he’s talking to a small child. Tender. Caring. He came all that way because he loved me.


Another man came all that way because He loved me, too. Because He loved you. Not just any man. A God-man. Jesus. “For God so loved the world” began in Heaven and descended to a manger scene.

He hung “there” scarred in both hands and both feet. Damaged. Torn. His scars remain. No, they are not covered over. Jesus’ scars are scarlet reminders forever covering our wrongs made right.

A mixture of feelings co-exist. Heart pain for His journey, but gratefulness for my journey. Why, there’d be no John 3:16 without Him.

Do you wonder how He feels about it? When He sees the scars, does He think of you and me? Would He take the fall for our fall again? Does He look, point to the spot, and say, “And there … there I fell”? Does He look through His eternal lens and say, “It wasn’t their fault. I don’t blame them. Why, I love them“? And then smile.

Father, thank you for the manger scene. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for hope.

Happy Holy-Day!

10 thoughts on “Scarlet Reminders

  1. That's beautiful, Shelli.
    I never heard of minor organs needing to be removed with the appendix. I do know the surgeon looked around when he operated on me. He noticed my liver is scarred. He gave me a picture, in color. (Oh, what a thrill.) And he biopsied it. (Negative, it's just ugly.) But he didn't need to remove anything besides my appendix. And today, six years later, only one of the three inch-long scars is still visible. Not that I ever wear two-piece swimsuits…


  2. Terri, you are a beautiful friend. I just received your sweet card … and it brought me to tears. Just beautiful … and I really needed a “pick-me-up.” Thank you, sweet friend.

    Yeah, that appendix … it had not ruptured but was spreading infection. From the doctors' response, this doesn't happen too often. But my body was making scar tissue around other minor organs to stop the spread of the infection … so it had attached the appendix to three others (girly ones). 🙂 I'm just thankful it didn't pick on the major organs.

    Oh, Terri … you bless me.


  3. Great post, Shelli!

    I have some scars that came from saving lives. Not that I can really relate to The Big J in that way, but maybe I kinda can. Sort of. A little.

    And then there are the stupid scars, like those that came from scratching my nose with the hot end of a welding rod. Yes, it was plural. Happened more than once.

    Yeah, dumber than a box of rocks.


  4. Oh, Andrew … I have so many unseen scars … heart scars. Those are the worst. But it's a journey with God … and I always remind myself that I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for the scars.

    I am so thankful to God for your healing.


  5. Beautiful post. Beautiful words that drew tears of thanksgiving for His beautiful scars. Thank you, Shelli, for calling us aside from the Christmas rush to the hush of God with us. I loved this.

    Christmas Blessings ~ Wendy ❀


  6. Shellliiiiiiiiii!!!! This is beautiful. I love, love, love how you came full-circle with your boots that needed polishing, but didn't. Such a sign of a writer. And deep thinker. Always looking for truth and beauty in the obscure.

    P.S. I love how you drew the arrows in your pics! Not sure how to do that. xoxoxo


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