Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

When Scars Shine

I should know by now that sometimes we have to see something with our hearts and not just our eyes.

And that sometimes, scars that would call for shadows, can instead become scars that shine.

We have these old wooden stairs in our home. They lead up to the bedrooms on the second floor.

We’ve been here for almost fourteen years now, and the stairs weren’t pretty when we got here. A run down, post war home, we bought it for a song and have spent the whole time slowly turning it into our haven, doing our own work on it.

And the stairs were worn, hastily brushed with a tired stain before we got there to try to cover up the worn out treads. It was livable, but would need doing at some point.

Except, when the only way up to the main bedrooms is one narrow staircase, how do you make time to rip them up and start over?

So now it’s 13 years later.

Still no new stairs.

And to say they’re worn would be an understatement.

They’re scarred. They are scarred and then some.

precepts and life preservers, scars can shine

13 years of feet going up and down, small at first, then stretching.

Backpacks up and down, laundry up and down, snacks up and down, slippers and bare feet and that time someone went down on their head and lived to tell about it.

Careful toddlings up and down, now giant jogs and thumps, socks, shoes, and paws as the dog follows.

Feet that went up with report cards and awards. Feet that came down with dirty laundry and problems at school. Steps that transported tears, sibling games, rivalry, secrets, victories and accomplishments. Steps that took them for time-outs, steps that took them and their furniture to far-away school and to new futures. Steps that rushed, slipped, stomped and skipped. Doggie steps that hustle in play, and tread in curiosity, and wander up in companionship.

The more I look at the steps with my heart, the more the scars shine instead of shudder.

Why cover up such a beautiful reminder that life was lived all over those stairs?

Instead of seeing them as being used up, they are proof of being a daily conduit for lives full . That’s a beautiful thought for this parent, this wife, this homemaker, this wobbly believer.

Sometimes scars shine.

Almost a year ago was my own decision to allow my scars to be shown, to let them prove that life was lived in spite of them, to allow God to take my personal story and use it as He desired.

You can spot my scars all over this blog. My heart sees bits of Him in all His splendour and His faithfulness reflected back in the scars, in all the words and feelings typed out.

Lord, use our scars for Your glory. Who will bravely pray this with me today? And tomorrow? And the next?

Beauty from ashes they say. Well Lord, I think to myself, only You could make such hardship beautiful, because this soul has a lot of wear and tear, let me tell you.

We all have the ravages of hardships, and of life. But these are signs of life being lived, even when they feel more like the signs of life being worn down.

your scars can shine you are beautiful

Don’t consider yourself worn down any longer. Let the Master Builder decide what’s a scar and what’s design. Every wrinkle, pucker, scratch and scar is proof you’re here, and your scars can shine, and your story that emerges is downright lovely.

The scars are proof that we’ve endured.

I gaze a minute longer at the old stairs. And what they can represent.

And then I’m thinking of the most beautiful scars of all.

Gaping, mottled scars, deep grooves of undeniable pain. Hands and feet that were shamed and busted up and hated and sin-immersed so our scars would never keep us from Him for one more second.

Were scars ever so repulsive and so beautiful all at the same time?

Were scars ever so mind-numbingly painful and so healing all at once?

Scars that would usher us into the paradise we scoffed at.

Scars that would make us into a receptacle of His beauty inside and out.

Scars that would cost Him everything so we can lack for nothing.

And when the stone rolled, when the earth hummed and shifted with His first breath out of the grave, when death was stomped on in that garden with nail-scarred feet

…You can bet those scars, yes, every inch of Him, burst with resurrection light, shone a light of hope no one would ever match.

The most beautiful scars, proof that life continues, that it continues in a great shining hope.

Proof that where there was once the most vile sin, there is now beauty in sacrifice, beauty and freedom.

The Beautiful Scars redeem, transform, give purpose, grant worth, extend love, and declare great mercy.

Scars that remind of one life given for many lives returned.

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–
heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,
if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.” ~ Romans 8:17

We never have to be afraid of the scars. We share in His sufferings, and we’re invited to share in His glory. We can be counted among the many who bear traces of a great story being woven through us, from the cross, to the grave, to today, and into the Great One Day Soon.

Knowing how the stairs look when viewed with my heart, I could never desire to remove all those scars.

They’re a gift that shines.

And so are the precious children of the King.

I dare you, let your scars shine for Him.

And know you are marked by the holy scars from the Holy One.

Beautiful, alive, we can shine, scars and all.

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Today’s post is really blessed to be a part of Meredith Bernard’s #Woman2WomanWednesday Linkup, and I hope you’ll wander over for some encouraging! See you there!


  1. The scars are proof that we’ve endured. <— This is so true and I love it! You know, I've been sometimes hiding those scars. One day a lady from a church told me that "Without scars there is no testimony". That shocked me! But in that moment I didn't know what it was going to happen to me. Today I have to say, I need to show my scars, so God can be glorified by them. The only one that have healed my pain is Him. Those scars have history, those scars show testimony. Loved your post! Blessings. Hope we can connect more, since you write words of encouragement and comfort!!!

    Tayrina from TGAWrites

    • Christine Duncan

      March 18, 2015 at 11:36 AM

      Love connecting with you, Tayrina! You are beautiful and treasured in Him today! Our scars really do hold wonderful testimonies of His faithfulness to us, the story He has for each of us is still being played out. Have a truly wonderful day, girl, and let’s stay in touch, definitely!!!

  2. I love these thoughts, Christine! I have the same well-worn and scarred floors (and boots, I think!) in my home. And I’ve often wanted to have them re-done, but it never seems to be in the plan. And they do have character. Scars give us character, don’t they? And yes, they can shine! I love that. Thank you for shining here and letting Him shine through you. Your words are a beautiful testimony to a life lived well and your transparency is a breath of fresh air. <3

    • Christine Duncan

      March 18, 2015 at 11:32 AM

      Meredith, thank you! Here’s to much loved boots and old floors! And to beautiful character-filled lives. Now to just keep this perspective when the really scratchy days hit… that’s the trick, isn’t it?
      Much love to ya, have a groovy day in Him 🙂

  3. This was absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

    • Christine Duncan

      March 18, 2015 at 11:26 AM

      Aw, thank you Amanda. Funny how a little thing like some old marked up stairs can get us thinking, lol. Have a fabulous day!!!

  4. Beautiful! I have scars too. I can testify also to His redeeming touch in my life. So thankful for Him.

    • Christine Duncan

      March 18, 2015 at 2:35 PM

      Testimonies of His redeeming touch, it doesn’t get any better than that! Thanks so much for visiting today, Debbie, praying blessings for the rest of the week!

  5. Love your changed perspective on your stairs as well as our scars. They say that scars are simply proof of the healing that has taken place and I pray mine too will be used to bring Him glory. I will join you in the prayer and trust Him to do a work that will astound me.

    • Christine Duncan

      March 18, 2015 at 4:40 PM

      A touch of the Master and we’re never the same… it’s the promise I continue to live in 🙂 Thanks for your uplifting words, Jeannie, I’m so glad to have you praying alongside of me. Love to ya today, lady!!!

  6. First off, l.o.v.e the pic of the cowboy boots. You go, girl.
    Then, we have this: “We can be counted among the many who bear traces of a great story being woven through us, from the cross, to the grave, to today, and into the Great One Day Soon.” Love it. It’s so true. When we get real, letting those scars show, the beauty of His story being woven is displayed. And who am I to keep that story covered? No. The scars bring freedom to me and glory to Him. Beautiful post, today, Christine.

    • Christine Duncan

      March 18, 2015 at 5:31 PM

      Seems people are loving the boots, Kristi! I’ll have to show my husband the comments, as they’re his, he’s had them since he was 17 yrs. old and they’ve been resoled, and treated, and worn into the perfect boot… and I keep stealing them to take photos of, lol.
      Yes, freedom and glory for scars… only our God does that, makes my heart sing every time I think about it. And your comment makes me smile, so thanks, Kristi! You’re pretty dern appreciated…

  7. Very deep post, Christine. It’s neat to think of how things in our house can serve second meanings like this.

    • Christine Duncan

      March 18, 2015 at 6:53 PM

      Hey Darren, great to have you visit! I love when the next generation is actively seeking His heart… I think God uses thoughts like this as jumping-off points, doesn’t He, taking believers into deeper territory?
      Glad you enjoyed the post today, I look forward to reading more of your posts as well!

  8. “When scars shine.” What a beautiful object lesson! My first thought was the silvery stretch marks that many mothers carry. My second thought was the well-worn wood that has virtually lost it’s grain. 😉 I love how you share the many journeys, both happy and difficult, that those steps have endured. And how like our own lives (and His).

    Thank you, sister. I do believe I’m carrying this lesson forward with me.

    • Christine Duncan

      March 18, 2015 at 10:42 PM

      That’s true, I hadn’t thought about the stretch marks and scars from a labour of love, Sheila… that really completes the picture doesn’t it?
      So glad the post was meaningful, I sometimes wonder which posts will work well and which should have had more tuning, lol. Thanks for your wonderful comment, today Sheila, it’s a privilege to connect!

  9. I love everything about this. We’re getting ready to put our house back on the market and need to repaint the stairs… I’m going to take a picture of them first though as a reminder of all the memories that have traveled up and down them, imprinting a piece of time on each one. Our scars can shine and tell such a intricate story. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again- your scars, Christine are beautiful and they do shine a light for Christ which is the most wonderful part of all. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to share this too!

    • Christine Duncan

      March 19, 2015 at 1:22 PM

      That will be a great way to honour those memories and stories, Kristi! Even a pic of you all on the stairs 🙂 So grateful for your support, girl, and the friendship. God is using your scars the same way, to shine for Him! A continual transforming! So blessed this week when I was so worried it’d be a hard week… isn’t that an answer to those prayers we said all week, amen?!? Grateful for you, Kristi, mushy hugs sent your way today.

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