Guest post by Tanya Cliff

scars We all have scars Lines etched into the tents of our bodies that tell the stories of where we have been, what challenges we have overcome and how we have lived and loved: each line – a laugh, each stretch mark – a new life, each jagged white mark – an adventure survived.

When I was five years old, I was playing a boisterous game of hide-and-go-seek with my dad. He hid in an upstairs bathroom behind a shower curtain. When I got to the top of the stairs, he jumped out to surprise me. Surprise me he did! I shrieked and laughed and shut my eyes, running at top speed down the hall and into my bedroom, where I proceeded to trip and hit the bottom edge of my metal bedframe with the center of my forehead, splitting my skin to the bone. It wasn’t pretty. I was rushed to the emergency room where I received stitches and a scar that remains to this day, like a little bolt of lightning – my “Harry Potter” scar.

Looking back, it is one of the happiest moments I remember of him, a day when he was laughing and playing and full of joy, at least until my injury. I wouldn’t trade that memory for anything. I lost him several years later after his very brief battle with lung cancer brought on by years of smoking. I was only eighteen years old. He was only forty-three.

Each time I look in the mirror, I remember how absolutely happy he was to simply be playing with his young daughter that afternoon. This experience served as the inspiration for a chapter in The Prodigal Son called Scars, a chapter that is the most deeply personal in the book for me – a chapter about survival and overcoming and memory and those individual etchings we carry around with us called scars that mark our experiences in this life. As the softcover goes available for sale today, I hope my dad would be proud. Tanya

“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” (2 Cor 5:1, NIV

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