“He had forty-five scars at the front of his body, but none on his back.”
Pliny, “The Natural History,” 7.101
The centurion starts his military service with smooth skin. But guarding the Frontier would come at a price, and he would have the scars to show how much.
Someday, we will have fought our last battle. And we will be gathered into the arms of angels, the way Lazarus was gathered at the rich man’s gate. On that day, when the one who inspects us turns to the other angels for help, may he say of you and of me—“He had forty-five scars at the front of his body.”
Then with a glint in his eye and the beginning of a smile . . .
“But none on his back.”
“None on his back.”