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Have you ever gone out to eat with your spouse at a nice restaurant and stopped to look around at some of the other couples? You would most likely be surprised at some of their stories.

Some of their stories are probably obvious. Maybe the one young couple unable to take their eyes off each other did just get engaged, as you thought. But what you could not have known was that they had waited years for this date. He had been the sole caretaker for his grandpa a couple of states away.

Then there was the annoying couple. She was dressed inappropriately and talked loudly. You wondered aloud why her husband would let her go out in public dressed that way, but he didn’t seem bothered in the least. You had not realized that the young woman was not the man’s wife, but his prodigal sister. He was in the process of reestablishing a relationship with her.

You pegged a well-dressed, middle-aged couple as snobby and aloof. You even joked to your spouse that the lady must have had Botox injections because her face was so rigid. You wouldn’t have known that her husband had just told her that after 30 years of marriage, he was filing for divorce. It took every facial muscle she could muster to keep from bursting into tears.

In November our church gathered up Thanksgiving baskets to deliver to needy families. Our group delivered our baskets to some people who lived in a so-called “apartment” complex which was simply a dumpy, converted old hotel. We didn’t learn the stories of most of these people, but judging by the sights and aromas in some rooms, it would seem easy to ascertain why those people lived there. And yet one gentleman’s story broke my heart. He was hard to understand as he was not fluent in English, but it seemed that he used to have a good job and that he himself used to deliver meals to homeless people living under bridges. Now he was alone and had major health issues, but he sure loved the Lord. When I prayed with him, he enthusiastically and verbally joined right in. Another gentleman read Proverbs every day.

The point is that everyone has some kind of story. Many of those stories have left behind untreated battle wounds that are not always visible to the untrained eye.

In this issue of the Message, we feature people with fascinating stories. Although you would never realize it looking in from the outside, some still carry scars from their wounds – visible and invisible. Thankfully a scar is only ugly if you look at it that way. Scars are simply reminders that, yes, there was once an injury, but now that injury has healed, having become just another chapter in an amazing story.

About The Author

Andrea Johnson
Managing Editor

In her spare time you will most likely find Andrea Johnson with family or friends, or outdoors hiking. She and her husband, Dennis, are blessed with four children and five grandchildren.