Last week, I started a post with these words:
I am pale.
This week, I'm starting with these words:
I am peeling.
Yes, I am a topographical map of various colors right now – brown, white, and pink. My upper chest and arms look like they have a serious case of dandruff that got lost. I'm a mess.
The pain has subsided – only to be replaced by an incessant itching. And trust me, a woman scratching her upper chest in public can get you some pretty odd looks...
Beyond the physical ramifications of trying to get that "healthy tan" two weeks ago, there's the lovely little voice in my head I have to listen to – (how come our inner voices have to be such nags, anyway??)
"You're so dumb. You should have known you were going to get burned."
"Heard of that new invention – sunscreen?"
"You always think you know better, don't you?"
"You're probably going to get skin cancer now."
Inner voice is a tyrant sometimes.
So, I've been itching and scratching and flaking and peeling.
It just never seems to stop.
But, of course, God provided a wonderful lesson in all of this. (He's not a nag, by the way – but He's pretty persistent!)
I was reminded of a scene in the book, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" – from the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. (Some of you might have seen the recent movie…)
In it, a very selfish, unpleasant boy – hey, let's call it like it is – he's a brat – named Eustace finds himself separated from his shipmates on a lonely island. He discovers a dying dragon – who just happens to have a treasure horde of priceless riches.
Eustace decides to make the treasure his own – once the dragon dies, of course!
Reveling in his pride and selfishness, Eustace finally falls asleep – only to awake with an excruciating pain in his arm. You see, that's because Eustace has fallen asleep with a human-sized bracelet that now tightly encircles a dragon-sized arm.
Yes, Eustace has turned into a dragon.
He tries numerous times to scratch off the scales of his "dragon-ness" – and they do start to fall to the ground. But every time, when he finally stops, he realizes the awful truth – he's still a dragon. Finally, he encounters Aslan, the Great Lion, and realizes he needs help:
"Then the lion said – but I don't know if it spoke – You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.
The very first tear he made was so deep and I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off…
And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn't like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I'd no skin on – and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I'd turned into a boy again."
Yes, while I was frantically scratching at my own peeling "scales," I realized that I was indeed helpless to remove the scales from my heart.
Do you ever feel encrusted by life?
Well, I certainly do.
And yes, I want those scales removed.
But only One can do that – and it's going to hurt. It's going to cut deep. But oh, won't it be worth it to be a child again?
I'm laying down for the Lord to do His work – will you join me?
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"