Half joking I asked for a magnifying mirror for Christmas a year ago. You know, just wanted to make sure I got all those chin hairs that were getting harder and harder to see with my aging eyes. That mirror, a gift from my daughter, has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
As a child of the 60's in a small Nebraska town I grew up with carefree summer days, riding my bike (without a helmet) to the municipal pool most afternoons. Like my buddies, I'd get a bad sunburn, peel and have golden brown skin for the duration. Perhaps you know where I'm going. We never thought twice about sunscreen. In fact, as a teen, baby oil ruled as we 'layed-out'.
Fast forward a few decades and while looking for those pesky chin hairs I found a dark spot on my otherwise unmarked nose. I didn't think too much about it, but enough to mention it to my doctor on a recent visit. He sent me to the dermatologist who said the basal cell carcinoma had probably been growing for five years. I'm on the other side of the surgery now with a skin graft and a couple of scars as my reward. I know it could have been worse and I'm grateful for the gift of a magnifying mirror.
As I thought about the mirror and the scarring I couldn't help but think about the internal pain we suffer. That which is barely visible on the surface, but left unchecked grows deeper and more destructive. Like the skin cancer opening it, extracting it might feel worse and more painful initially. But that's where the healing begins.
Sometimes professional help is the only road to recovery. I wouldn't pretend to know the first thing about surgery for skin cancer. Counselors, pastors, therapists may be the only way to begin for some. Sometimes a good friend with a listening ear, God's word and prayer can open a deep, deep wound and begin the healing. Quiet times in this noisy, busy world can break through the surface of a heart that is breaking.
|Exodus 14:14 from Subtle Prints on Etsy|
When it comes down to it there is only one answer, People need the Lord. In this scarred world we live in He is the answer. I'm living proof.
My advice is use sunscreen, wear hats, and more important take time to be still. Take time to let God be your magnifying mirror.