Valentine’s Day is over, and I suppose that’s just as well because when I set out to share with you some writing on love, and an unexpected theme emerged: scars.

Not usually what we all think of when we think of February 14th.

Scars interest me in that there’s a story behind each one. They represent both frailty and the body’s incredible ability to heal. Some remind us of both a physical trauma and an emotional journey. And some scars are purely emotional.

When the initial injury occurs and we’re bleeding physically or emotionally, we rely on the care of those around us. Love that has been quietly sustaining our normal, daily lives, steps forward to carry us. We realize how deep and strong it really is, and we come away with a greater appreciation for it. Accepting that kind of love can heal emotional scars and can help us to love ourselves, regardless of what physical damage a scar may have left.

The kind of love I’m talking about is something that goes much further than what we celebrate on Valentine’s Day. Yes, this kind of love can be practiced in romantic relationships, but it also exists between friends, family, and us and our Savior. All of these loves can conquer scars. Jesus’s love for us, best of all.

So, in my writing and in my life, it seems to me that scars and love are tied together. Love conquers scars, and scars reveal love.

I hope you’ll enjoy the excerpt and poem below, two separate pieces, one fictional and one auto-biographical. I hope you come away from this post with a deeper appreciation for the scar-conquering love in your life.

Excerpt from “A Thing of Beauty”

She looked at the portfolio she’d kept nearby since her last call to Emmerich. If she took it to him, she would have to accept him, however he looked when he answered the door.
Love mattered more than scars. She must decide here and now: did she really love him?
Is he even recognizable, God?
Of course his God would still recognize him. God knew Emmerich on a deeper level than his face, deeper than his talent, and certainly deeper than his scars.
Beyond the physical scars, they’d also have to face the scar of his decision to keep her out of his personal tragedy and the scar of the loss of his talent. She swayed under the weight of it all, but then she lowered her feet to the ground and stood.
Love could endure all things, it always hoped, and it mattered more than scars. She could show him that again, and the portfolio would help.

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The Thread and the Rope
A fall, a broken bone, surgery,
a two month leave from work to heal.
Between naps, hundreds of pages
of story unfolded, my days
a pattern for a life tailored to writing,
a garment I would one day finish and slip into,
the scalpel’s white thread in the skin of my wrist,
a seam I touch as I say, Worth it.
Your hands are more scarred than mine.
Both front and back bear knots,
thick rope securing me to You.
As I hesitate to touch those marks,
You reach out to me. You say, Worth it.