Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I've spotted a l-l-l-l-liver spot

      THE FONZ

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Oh, dear, oh my, oh phooey....  I can't even say it., no, I just can't do it.  Remember "The Fonz" on the TV show Happy Days, played by Henry Winkler.  He was the super-cool guy who could do anything; anything, that is, except say (much less eat) l-l-l-liver.

Yep - I know just how he felt.  First, I agree with him completely - liver is "yucky" - I hate it and I just cannot eat it.  And yes, I have tried on two or three regrettable occasions.

But now, oh horrors, I have discovered what is called "a liver spot" on my right hand.  How did this happen?  Of course, perhaps I am mistaken, and it is NOT a l-l-l-liver spot.  Maybe is just just a freckle.  Goodness knows I have plenty of those.  I have never had a "tan" in my life and couldn't get one if I tried - unless I resorted to those spray-tan thingies.  I am, by nature, fair haired, blue-eyed, very pale skinned - and I have lots of freckles.  But there is a problem with my freckle-theory.  This one wasn't there last year, when all my other freckles were.  Yikes!  I think it really must be one of those dreaded l-l-l-liver spots.

Maybe I am only just recently noticing this awful development because I have a birthday coming up.  It is not a "big birthday" - as people usually refer to those birthdays ending in zeroes or fives.  No, it is just a usual, annual, regular one - but it is another one - and they are beginning to pile up.

Ah ha!  That explains my sudden repugnance.  As I consider my unease, I now recall that other name for those dreaded l-l-l-l..well, you know, those l-spots.  They are also called "age spots".  Well, isn't that just the pits?

What is to be done?  Not sure.  Can anything be done?  Not sure.  Should something be done?  Not sure.  Maybe I'll just ignore it - and maybe it will go away.  ..... Okay, I think that works - I'll let you know how that turns out.                  & & &

Isn't the above just silly?  And yet there is a multi-billion dollar industry devoted to "fading, regenerating, hiding, reversing" or whatever else they can come up with - stratagems for dealing with those little brown places on our skin.

Paul, in Ephesians talks about the church and says that Jesus loves it so much that he is going to wash it, and present it to himself as a "glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing ... ." (Eph. 5:27

And yet, how often do we take the time to examine whether we have spots, blemishes - as the NIV puts it - in our spiritual lives that mar our testimony and discredit the church?  Not often enough is my guess.  Instead, we sometimes call our spiritual spots something else, hoping that by renaming them they will be less damaging.  Oh, let's just call it a personal foible, a temperamental weakness, or perhaps it is an inherited trait.  (All the women in my family have a tendency to be a little snippy.  I just can't help it, that's the way we are.)

But God's word calls these spots on our soul something else.  He calls them "sin" - and He means it.  We can adopt all the strategies we want to for not dealing with them; ignore it and maybe it will go away - cover it up with a really good attitude - try re-inventing ourselves into something new, without dealing with the same old "spot" that has been there for years.

How's that working out for ya?  Um-hmm - I thought so.

Can we ignore that sin-spot in our lives?  Sure we can.  But what we cannot do is avoid the consequences of it.  Can we cover it up?  Possibly - although much like the cosmetic remedies for age spots, our cover-up will likely be very temporary and look a little phony.

Here's a thought.  What if we just admit the fact that as sinful humans we sin - and that we need to acknowledge that daily - repent daily - accept God's forgiveness and ask for his grace not to repeat that same exact sin? 

As believers we have accepted God's wonderful gift of salvation, through faith and not of works.  And we also need to be vigilant about those ugly spots that pop up on our souls, those "besetting sins" as Paul called them, that can easily ruin our relationships, damage our testimony and mar the unity of the church. 

A little liver-spot, I can live with.  A little sin-spot; well, that I had better deal with.   His word tells me that it is important to do it regularly, honestly, and thoroughly.  Ok, I have some spot-cleaning to ask Him for.  Care to join me?               
             Hope you have a good day. - Marsha

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