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 put 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 imperceivable.

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. And certainly not in someones wound.

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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When Colors Collide


My colors collided. Again.

I didn’t even realize it; never saw it coming.

That’s what happens when you keep painting and painting and painting . . .never rinsing out your brush. Never acknowledging each individual color for the beautiful contribution that it is.

Because each color serves a purpose, you know. Each one is necessary to complete the overall picture.

And I’m not talking paint, by the way. These “colors” are what I use to refer to as feelings. So, for instance, yellow would obviously be a happy feeling. Dark blue, not so much. Red? I’m thinking anger, right? Green . . .hm, maybe greed. Or perhaps envy. And orange, I think I’ll assign that as thankful. There are so many more . . .

I remember as a little girl having a watercolor set with a variety of eight colors and a thin, nylon paintbrush that was so flimsy, you couldn’t paint a pin-straight line with it to save your life. (Not to mention the brush hairs that kept coming out and sticking to your precious art piece. Fun memories.)

Nevertheless, I loved to paint and was always excited when it was art time in grammar school. It was even more exciting when my watercolors were brand-new; each color looked perfect in its oval bed, not yet tainted by my incredibly artistic talent. But, alas, before I knew it, I would be painting away . . .first green, then yellow, maybe brown, then midnight blue . . .and it wouldn’t be long before those colors weren’t so vibrant anymore. Or individual.

I have to tell you, as a former, professional second-grade watercolor painter, it’s a disaster when your colors all start to blend together because you went a little overkill on the water usage. And never rinsed out your brush after dealing with each individual color.

You no longer recognize each color for what it is. It all becomes one dark, murky-gray puddle.

And even more, it means you can no longer use each color individually, brushing their unique essences on just the right spot of your canvas so that they each work in perfect harmony with one another. Complementing each another. Making the bigger picture.

Kinda like our feelings.

The last six months, there have been so many highs and lows, I couldn’t even tell you . . .one yellow, the next dark blue . . .then orange, and a few times green . . .I got so busy trying to cope with all of life’s colors the “Christian” way that I crashed the other day. Hit a wall – big time. All of the ups and downs, so many of them – too many of them – collided together and became one dark, gloomy mess.

So, what do I mean by the “Christian” way? Reading my Bible. Reading devotionals. Memorizing Scripture. Listening to Podcasts. Praying. Fasting. Letting things go. Forgiving. Moving on. Forgetting what lies behind. All the prudent things any serious Christ follower would do.

But . . .can it ever be too much? Or better yet, can the “Christian” way ever be a way to avoid – so you don’t have to deal with all your colors?

I was talking to a good friend of mine. She told me to hang in there. Christ’s power is in me – use it. Don’t let the enemy get to me. Don’t give up.

What an amazing friend. And I agree with her! But I have to be honest. Those words just bounced off of me like a rubber ball off that same grammar school blacktop I used to paint at. I couldn’t “do” anymore. I had been frantically doing so much ‘Christian way’ stuff to keep me going, I wasn’t addressing all my colors.

I ignored my feelings – good and bad – so I could press on and, in wanting to do things the “right” way, not hurt this person with my red color. Or make that person mad with my green color. Or that person jealous with my yellow one.

I fell right into the trap of legalism; legalism that says you shouldn’t feel bad if you’re a Christian. Legalism that says you shouldn’t feel too good if you’re a Christian. Legalism that says denying yourself means denying the very essence of who you are – human. Body, spirit, mind, and emotions. Legalism that says you can’t feel opposite feelings at the same time; like you can’t be thankful and angry simultaneously.

I beg to differ. Right now, I am very angry at some things and extremely thankful for others.

So, amongst my many musings over the last few days, I came to a conclusion:

The problem isn’t having all of those feelings at the same time; it’s believing the lie that it’s either impossible to have them all at once or wrong to have them at all. And when we buy into that trap, we stuff. We deny. And all our colors start bleeding together, creating nothing more than indistinguishable and unusable chaos.

Since I have finally come to the end of myself, (yet one more time), I’ve been thinking. It would have been so much better – and right – for me to, instead of hiding behind religiosity, acknowledge each colorful feeling for what it was, talk about it and be okay with it. In fact, if I read my Bible correctly, confessing and dealing with truth are also part of the Christian way.

I’ve also been reminded that each color – every feeling, every experience – will be perfectly placed on the canvas of my life by the great Master Artist himself to create a good and beautiful overall picture.

Each color has a place in my life. Each one will serve a good purpose. Because God said so.

I’m starting to separate my colors, one by one. (Yes, you can do that with a make-believe watercolor tray.) For starters, I dumped on my husband. (Don’t worry, he’s pretty friggin’ awesome and has learned how to handle me by now.) I also dumped on a few other pretty cool family members and friends – letting it all out. I’m going back through many of the experiences of the last six months and processing how I’ve felt about them. How I still feel about them.

I’m already feeling a little less gray, although I’m not completely there yet; wherever the heck “there” is.

I humbly accept your prayers. (After all, we should never really do away with the Christian way.)