There he was, blood dripping from his nose and running around the corners of his mouth…as he laughed and talked. I could not hear what he was saying but his bloodied football uniform and animated gestures clearly told the story of a battle that had been fought – a story he was sharing with his teammates.

And that’s how wounds arrive, isn’t it? Battles are fought in our day to day lives. Sometimes these battles are against disease or depression. Sometimes we fight for our marriages, our jobs or our families. Sometimes we may not feel like we had a chance to fight at all, but the wounds still come. This is life on planet earth – what the scriptures refer to as “the land of the living.”

It doesn’t always feel like living, though. And many of our wounds are slow to heal. Some wounds we prefer to hide, often from battles that we lose. This might include our alcoholism, pornography addiction or maybe our unnecessary debt from wasteful spending. Some wounds we bear in silence, usually from the battles we never got to fight. These might include childhood abuse, being deserted by a spouse or mourning a loved one stolen away by cancer.

But some wounds we brag about. Yes, some wounds are worth the battle and any resulting pain. A few years ago I bruised my ribs trying to play football with my boys. I was quite proud of that wound and told anyone who would listen about the game. The truth is our relationships are full of opportunities to fight meaningful battles. The important thing is that we have to be watching for them and willing to get involved. Investing our time in others will undoubtedly create some wounds, but they just might be the wounds we brag about.

What about you? Do you have some wounds you can brag about? Wounds incurred from doing something worthwhile or overcoming adversity? Is your marriage or family or friendship stronger because of battles that you fought and won?