While driving to a doctor’s appointment in Red Bluff, CA I glanced down at my right hand, and I noticed some old scarring. I hadn’t noticed them in a long time, and they only showed up because the light reflected off of my skin just right. I looked at them and thought to myself how I must have cut and scraped my hand at some point, but they had healed. So, then I look over to my left hand, and as I did, I noticed two familiar scars; two scars that were intentional scars.
The dynamic of those two scars brought me to an understanding, a testimony if you will, of the power of our savior Jesus Christ. This is a testimony about restoration. I remember when I inflicted these wounds upon myself; one was done in high school, and one shortly afterwards. One scar was from a foolish way I had to make money; it was one of many. This tactic in particular involved me extinguishing a lit cigarette on the back side of my hand. I had this insanely high tolerance for pain, and they tended to heal rather quickly. The down side, I realized when I was brought out of this stage, was that it left gruesome scars.
The other scar on my hand was a little more involved; it was a brand. It was a symbol I had created for brand I called “Kaotix” (sounds like the possessive form of chaotic). The brand came from a nickname I had garnered, “KaotiK”, and I created a symbol that people would associate with me. If they seen this symbol, they would know whatever it was on belonged to me. The symbol was a hybridization of the letters “K” with an “x”.
So why this symbol, why this name, why Kaotik? During that time of my life, I could remember telling people that life was confusing, and that I could not understand the things happening around me. When I tried to explain things that I seen in the world, or what was swimming around in my mind, people just couldn’t grasp it. Not my friends, not parents, my family, nobody. When I would talk to people wiser than I, they couldn’t make hide nor hair of what I was saying or even clarify things for me. So, often times I would talk about how “chaotic” the world was, how chaotic my mind was, and how nothing was making sense to me. As a result, sometimes my actions were rather chaotic.
The world was saying things were this way, but things appeared to be another way, and there was so much going on it didn’t make sense. I didn’t know it at the time, but now I believe I was in the middle of the vortex between truth and lie, and my mind was trying to make sense of the senselessness around me. It was a big chaotic mess. When I found myself acting out in the middle of that mess, it ended up badly. That was how the name “Kaotik” became a title for me.
Fast forward sometime later, and one day I met this man. He was different than other men I’d met, but this man brought me an understanding out of the chaos, unscrambled the messages that were gargled in my mind, a cleared the foggy pollutants from my mind. His name is Jesus. Before I met Him there was so much disorder in my life, and the scars on my hands were constant reminders of the bedlam that I thought I was destined to suffer from. Now, I can look at my hand today, and unless I am doggedly searching for them, I cannot see those scars. Those remnants of a past life, the traits of the old man, the sins of the departed mind have been wiped clean. Hallelujah. My wife, the most intimate person in my life has never noticed them. My children have never inquired of the markings. No pastors, friends, or acquaintances have remarked about them. That is how Jesus removed the old iniquities from my life.
Praise God for His goodness, that when my pandemonium began to disappear, so did the scars that came with it. No vitamin E lotion, just His forgiveness and grace. When I submitted my life to God, He began to quiet me, and give me the ability to make sense out of the mess. He showed me the things I though wrong to be right, and the things I though to be right, to be wrong. I began to finally see clearly, and the shadows of deception began to fade away as did the scars on my hands.
1 Peter 2:24who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
Psalm 103:12As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
2 Corinthians 5:21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.