It was from across the room, the smell of cake batter was hitting my Olfactory Receptors (aka my “sniffer”). Causing an immediate craving for frosting and sprinkles. Much to my surprise the smell permeating the room was coming from my friend’s daughter’s tube of Chap Stick. Hardly being able to restrain myself, I reached out asking her to pass over the product. Not sure if my lips were truly in need or my stomach for the tasty treat. I apply.
Rubbing my lips together, resisting the urge to lick, I put the cap on and toss it back across the room. Moments later, and much to my surprise, my eyes catch an utterly repulsive scene.
I should have known borrowing Chap Stick from a seven year old was not a good idea.
No longer was the balm being used for her “lips”, rather to rub as some sort of topical ointment to her scab covered kneecaps. My immediate response was to wipe off my mouth, but unfortunately my sub conscious was tricked into thinking it was some yummy dessert, and had already sent my tongue to a taste test. Licked dry, my lips were ready for a second coat.
While driving home, continuing to think about what just happened, I start to giggle. Although the thought of putting scab juice all over my lips was far from anything I would ever do, it was pretty funny. I quizzed myself, wondering if I would have used the Chap Stick with prior knowledge of its “other” use?
That clichéd phrase: What you don’t know won’t hurt you, brought me to wishing I didn’t know about the knees. Challenged by this, and thinking beyond the seven year old and her Chap Stick obsession. Often times in life, it’s just easier “not knowing”.
It’s crazy how God uses these silly life jokes to humble us and bring us to our knees (literally). I couldn’t help but be challenged by what I can/cannot handle “knowing” about the people God puts in my life. There are definitely times friends will share personal struggles, and by no means I can love them and help them through their trials. And thankfully, I have friends that God has put in my life to reciprocate the same thing.
But what about those people in my life, the friendships built on the surface, fear keeping away from exposure to the “ugly”? Wondering how I will react when the repulsive side is shared, the sin/the struggles, we avoid the deep cut into reality. The news is shared, leaving us to react. Do we quickly want to wipe away what we heard? Pretending as if not to be affected?
All sin is repulsive! As humans we tend to rate sin. Judging the affect it may have on society. I find peace in knowing God never bats an eye at my sin. He forgives. God sent Jesus to pay for this sin, in full. He loves me through my dirt, through my struggles. It’s when we turn from this sin that God’s arms are wide open, waiting for us to fall into his embrace of grace.
As Disciples of Christ, we are to love like God first loved us. A simple task? Far from it. As Christians, in loving those God puts in our lives, we have to be willing to hear their sin. The same way God heard ours. Loving them through it by extending grace. Willing to leave the Chap Stick on, even prepared to reapply. Far from comfortable I know, but mirroring that of God is no easy task.