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2017.07.16 (00:18:35)

My car got a ding on the back and my heart is broken. I keep thinking of the ding, which is really small, and the thought of it just keeps bothering me. My car was such a perfection but it's not perfect anymore and I don't want to drive it anymore but I will have to deal with its imperfection. I will have to learn to say it's okay, it's just a ding and my car drives just fine. 

I am aging and starting to have wrinkles and ugly spots in my face. Whenever I got a new spot in my face or when the existing wrinkles get deeper, I am frustrated but there is nothing I can do about it. A facial pack maybe. But they are temporary measures and you cannot beat the ultraviolet of California anyway. Thank God our church didn't go to Mexico for the retreat this summer. The beauty which I think was there once on the outside is quickly fading away. And I have to deal with it. 

I cracked one of my front teeth while I was eating noodle with a pair of iron chopstick and I got really frustrated because I lost a part of my body. And it seemed it was not repairable. I was really sad and frustrated. But I finished the noodle because I was hungry. I switched to wooden chopsticks and kept on eating because I loved the noodle. I had to learn to live with the flaws. I had to learn to become fine with the flaws. 

The flaws that we can fix if we wanted to are not really flaws. They are tasks to be done. There are flaws that we recognize as bad and tried our best to fix but just couldn't. The flaws that claimed their places in our lives. Then they become part of us. For example, the embarrassing memories of the past. The easiest way to deal with the past that makes you cringe is to pretend that it never happened. I tried that with the ding of my car. I pretended it wasn't there. Even though the ding is so small, it is so obvious to me I can see it from afar. Pretending, avoiding, doesn't work. Forgiven is not the same as forgotten. But forgiven might mean embraced. 

Yes, it happened. The ding is there. The important thing is my car still runs well regardless. Yes, my past is not perfect. I once was lost but now am found. I once was a sinner but now am forgiven. It doesn't mean I haven't sinned and it doesn't mean the sin never left a scar. It left a scar and I am dealing with the scar everyday. But since I was embraced and forgiven, I run just fine. Actually, I run better than before. The inner person is ever being renewed (2 Corinthians 4:16). 

The scar remains, and some weaknesses are so adamant that we even stopped struggling with them. And then we finally acknowledge that we need God. So the weakness becomes the point of connection with God and with people. In our despair we look around and find so many who struggle with the same weaknesses. Through the weaknesses we finally become connected, together. The scar that made us connected is called stigma (Galatian 6:17). In the movie Lethal Weapon 3, Mel Gibson and Rene Russo boast their scars to each other as if they were medals of honor. 

There will be a time when we are forever connected to one another in peace and harmony but until then all the scars and weaknesses may become our hope of connection. With the ding on the back, the car became mine. I will have to take care of it because the dealer wouldn't take it back. It's mine now.

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