Tag Archives: Christianity

When People and Salt Scrub Rub Us the Wrong Way

I’d been wanting another pick-me-up. A little something besides my morning coffee to wake up my smile and put an extra spring in my step. For whatever reason, I landed on salt scrub. You know, that stuff you rub yourself silly with in the shower to smooth the rough spots and heal your dry skin. It needed to be scented, of course, but nothing too floral smelling. Something invigorating. That screamed sunshine and happiness.

Being the obsessed, diehard researcher that I am, I scoured the internet for the ultimate in salt scrubs and found one proudly promoting itself as being 100% pure dead sea salt, with a blend of skin smoothing oils, organic, and having an “uplifting lemongrass” scent.


It was a dream come true. It fulfilled everything it promised.

And then some.

Day one I was ecstatic; its oily, course essence making me smell like a bowlful of lemon drops and my skin softer than a baby greased in butter. I swear, that slapped a smile on my face and a quick in my step so fast, I could hardly contain myself. I was in heaven. Day two proved to be just as wonderful, and I was thrilled to add this new, valuable step into my daily routine. That is, until that day.

Because a few weeks later, on that day, my beloved salt scrub turned on me. And instead of slapping a smile on my face, it slipped me a few tears as I held my poor, sweet hand under the water, in hopes of alleviating the excruciating pain emanating from my finger.

Just so you know, if you ever want to find out if you have a paper cut, buy some salt scrub. You’ll know in about 2.3 seconds.

And just like that, what used to be my friend, quickly turned into my foe. And sunshine and birds singing turned into lightning bolts and Nana cursing. It was quite the scene. And also, quite sobering; all the time I had thought my precious fingers were just fine, they weren’t. One of them had a wound that was unperceivable;

only when it met up with a certain substance, was the wound detected.

Just like our other wounds. The internal ones that cause us to overreact to people in our lives, when in reality, those lovely people are just exposing imperceptible injuries in our souls by rubbing up against us.

Like the times my husband wouldn’t call me during his busy work day, and I would take it as rejection. Just an innocent omission on a busy man’s part would send me spiraling into self-pity and doubt; all because I had unattended wounds that were still open and vulnerable to even the smallest grain of salt.

I’ll never forget something Beth Moore said a few years ago. She said, if you have a scar, you can show it to people, talk about it, even let others touch it, and it won’t bother you or cause you pain. Because scars don’t hurt.

Which means if it does hurt, it’s not a scar.

It’s still a wound.

This makes me wonder…

How many imperceptible wounds are we carrying around and blaming others for, when in reality, they’re just picking a scab off of something that’s already there?

How many times are we unknowingly picking a scab off of somebody else’s wound and then reacting poorly when they get hurt, instead of seeking to look behind their pain to see if maybe there are hidden wounds there that have nothing to do with us?

How many times are we, ourselves, applying salt scrub to somebody else’s wound and adding in-salt to injury in the name of trying to “help” them, by saying things like, “just count it all joy,” when what they really need is a big ol’ hug and a shoulder to cry on?

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6

Seasoned with salt. Not using the whole dang tub.

I learned a few things in the shower that day (besides don’t put salt scrub on a paper cut). For one, salt can be a wonderfully healing agent but it can also cause a lot of pain. Trust me on this one.

Two, what seems fine-looking on the outside, oftentimes isn’t. So when something rubs up against me and causes me to flinch, I might want to check it out and see if there’s an overlooked wound that needs some attending to, before I blame it on that irritant that’s rubbing up against me.

And third, I don’t need to fear those things that do rub up against me because they can be both wound-revealing and life-refining. For if I let them, they can be used to polish me up to a smooth, butter-baby finish. Both inside and out.

Wishing you a smooth, butter-baby finish too. :)

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Let there be Light (Or, maybe NOT.)

I was warned. I knew it was coming, I just didn’t properly estimate how dark the impending darkness was going to be.

We never do.

I had received a letter from our electric company telling us there was going to be a power outage on an upcoming date, from about 11:00 p.m. to around 5:00 a.m. (You know, give or take a few hours.) That would have been fine and dandy except this particular night we were going to be getting up at 3:30 in the morning to get ready to catch a plane. (Not the most optimal time to have a power outage.)

Since there was a chance the power would come back on right before we’d be leaving, and being the extreme type-A, exceptionally organized, need-to-be-prepared person that I am, I made my mental list of things we’d need to do before we left our house if we were so fortunate to regain power: reset the sprinkler system with the proper time, reset the automatic light timers, and so forth. I felt quite proud of my dang self.

Except I forgot one thing.

It didn’t dawn on me until right before my alarm went off that I would be waking up to complete darkness. And then showering in complete darkness. And then putting on my makeup in complete darkness. And then finishing my packing in complete darkness.

There wasn’t a lick of moon-shine to be seen. Not even a sliver.

It was a scream. Literally.

The instant I woke up, I freaked out and stared into the blackness before me in complete horror. Makeup in the dark???? In my sleep deprived state, I couldn’t think of anything worse.

Thank goodness for cell phones because they have this handy-dandy flashlight so you can see three inches in front of you. Thank goodness for brilliant dad’s, because they give their daughter’s killer flashlights that are so powerful, they’ll burn your retinas if they make it three inches from your eyes. And thank goodness I love candles, because I have about fifteen in my bathroom.

It was with these multiple sources of light that I did my best to wash up and beautify my anxious self. The kicker was, they worked quite well. Actually, a little too well.

Have you ever held a flashlight right up to your face in front of a magnified mirror? Talk about a literal scream. Every flaw, every wrinkle, every…well, you fill in the blank. I was even more mortified than when I had first awakened and thought I wouldn’t be able to see myself at all.

But that’s what light does. It reveals.

On the plane ride to New Orleans, it got me thinking…How much light am I willing to shed on my insides? To what extent do I want to see the truth about who I am? Do I typically use candlelight or am I willing to withstand a burn-your-retinas-out kind of light?

Seems to me we all have a choice as to how much light we’re willing to engage with, the primary one for Christ-followers being God’s Word…

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.
Psalm 119:105

But there are other great sources of light as well: podcasts, churches, personal growth books, friends who are cool enough to be honest with you…

All of them wonderful. Except, there’s a catch:

Did you know you can read the Bible and never use it to expose your flaws so you can make some much-needed adjustments? (The Pharisees were great at this.) Or go to church once in a while but never get involved enough to let it change you? Or be in a small group but never be authentic enough to let others know the real you?

It’s interesting. I always had a handy-dandy flashlight on my phone, and the super-cool one my dad bought me that’s in my nightstand, but I had never held either of them up to my face before.

I had never let the light get close enough to reveal my unique imperfections.

And more than that, the more light I held up to my face, the more imperfections I saw. (Yahoo.) And I realized something through all of this: that it’s not a matter of whether we’re living in the “light” or the “darkness,” but just how much light are we willing to have shed on us…

Some of us content living our lives by candlelight that makes us look good no matter what; some of us braving light that could fry our eyes out; and others of us at various places in between.

Personally, as painful as it is, I don’t want to live fooling myself. After all, we only have one life; no do-overs, no dress-rehearsals.

I want the kind of light that shows me what needs to be changed – so that it can be changed.

So bring on the Word. Bring on the podcasts, awesome friends, books, and every other fry-your-eyes-out kind of light. I’m ready to use them to my advantage; I hope you are too. :)

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