Even before this bougainvillea sprig had finished blooming, the leaves had become tasty treats for the insects in our backyard. Though tattered and torn, this little sprig still grew and blossomed and became one of the top branches of an abundantly decorated bougainvillea bush. In life, we will encounter events that scar and tear us, leaving us looking or feeling less than complete. Sometimes we may even feel as if others are feeding on us or growing at our exspense. Yet, if we continue to allow ourselves to grow or to be grown, despite the setbacks, we too can bloom with a beauty that brings joy and peace to those around us. Our scars and scrapes, even our missing pieces, can be used to heal the hurting hearts around us. Our past sorrows help us to understand circumstances others are facing and provide us with compassion for a hurting world. God can heal our hurts if we allow Him to, but sometimes, the scars are left as a testimony to His goodness and love as well as an indicator of our character through adversity.