Notes from Jan


May 8, 2018


Friday,  the physical therapist, measured, cut, then placed a wide strip of  industrial strength Rocktape the length of my incision. Puzzled, which is often, Scott informed me,”It’s what we use on professional athletes.”

That’s about as close as I’ll get to being an athlete, amateur or pro.

He told me not to be concerned if it fell off.

I’m assuming he meant the tape.

Not all scars are visible.

Might be better if they were.

Could initiate more kindness,  a deeper understanding rooted in, “Me, too.”

Bryan Wilkerson, Senior Pastor of Grace Chapel, set me thinking about scars after listening to his Easter sermon on-line, while nursing my wounds, one visible, most not.

Pastor Bryan said, “Christ could’ve returned scar-free, but he showed up with nail-scarred hands and side, invited Thomas to come close, see and touch.”

In Caravaggio’s famous painting, The Incredulity of St. Thomas,” we see Christ guiding the tentative finger of Thomas into His wounded side, while other disciples look on, wide-eyed wonderers.

I wonder if Christ’s wounded side, or hands twitched, still tender,  when Thomas touched  those puncture wounds that altered history?

Why didn’t Christ come back perfect, without “spot or blemish”?

Maybe because scars tell stories.



We walk around bearing proof something took place in our lives and left its mark.

Thomas  touched and  believed.

Then Jesus  said to Thomas,”You believe  because you have seen me.  Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway.” (John 20:29 NLT)

Hands on Grace to Thomas, by faith to the rest of us.

Blessed faith?

That’s what He says.

Even in life’s fogs, unbearable silences, darkest nights, sob-soaked pillows?

Faith enough to come closer, hobbled by scars, loaded with incredulities, to hear Christ’s whisper, inviting our deepest doubts and dirtiest fingers to touch and be touched.










































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  • Reply Russell K Bishop May 8, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    I’ll bring my duck tape if it falls off. Let me know….

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 9, 2018 at 1:17 am

      Thank you, Dr. Bishop.
      So far, the tape’s keeping me together.

  • Reply Valerie McCoy May 8, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    I think this may very well be the finest, most painful truth you have ever written. Couple this writing with the excruciating, visible wounds in ‘Call The Midwife’, and I know, without hesitatiion, that my Redeemer lives…whether by my own open wounds or by my blessed healings.
    You are a trophy of God’s handiwork, Jan, athletic tape and all.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 9, 2018 at 1:32 am

      We have and need a Redeemer, who is “The Wounded Healer,” the tended title of Henri Nouwen’s book.

  • Reply Dan Russ May 8, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Jan, Will our glorified bodies bear our redeemed scars?


    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 9, 2018 at 1:34 am

      I’m clueless about that and much more, Dan.

  • Reply Dale Lefever May 10, 2018 at 2:04 am

    Thanks Jan,

    I never thought of why Christ did not appear fully whole. What a wonderful insight that will be shared with our SS class this Sunday. Is it ok if I tell them I wrote it on my recent fishing trip to the Everglades?

    Blessings, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg May 11, 2018 at 2:09 am

      The idea came from Pastor Bryan Wilkerson in his Easter message. I kept thinking on it, since I had a fresh scar that others seemed interested in knowing about. Scars do tell stories, some we prefer to keep secret. Bryan’s a great preacher and very good story teller/dramatist. He welcomed and set the tone for Jud’s memorial service.

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