YOUR SPIRITUAL PEEL
Pilgrims, I take pen in hand while I’m in the final four days of finishing a Dermatology-Peel. I doubt the outcome is going to please me, for I look like a spotted leopard; a ‘red spotted owl, or a science experiment gone awry. The doctor tells me it is payback for being stupid enough to believe an Irish, Redhead could actually tan…even with the help of two years of Hawaiian sun from Waikiki Beach, compliments of Uncle Sam’s Navy, as a young man.
The many spots on my face are pointing out the many ‘potential’ future basil cell carcinoma on my face the peel is supposed to remove and cure. Three weeks of deliberately burning one’s skin, twice daily, with a high potent cream isn’t a ‘walk in the park’, and watching one’s face turn from a five in looks to a minus doesn’t help the old ego, either.
This medical treatment has given me pause about the wisdom of any type of peel to rectify an acknowledged imperfection in one’s looks or more importantly, one’s health. If this medical peel can restore one’s health; what if one applied this treatment to one’s spiritual imperfections?
Ray Steven’s classic song about warning his wife, Ethel, not to look at the naked man (a streaker) that was running loose, forces me to recognize a person’s Spiritual Peel, when finished, would require one to stand ‘naked as a jaybird’ in front of God’s spiritual mirror. This gives me a fit of anxiety just pondering the sight, before and after the peel, doesn’t it?
Before Christ’s ‘robe of righteousness’ provides spiritual covering, what do you think God sees? Like my face, it has some areas with tiny spots, other more pre-cancerous areas show large areas where the cream has burned deeper, or I have applied too much cream during earlier applications. I worry about this. Perhaps, sexual sins are easily discernable and there are diseased sores seeping puss from our privates. Maybe our tongues are coated with a mixture of white-hot molten and slimy snake-oil leave them horribly twisted from our lies, intentional spiritual murder: gossip that, our out-rageous pithy anger shoots up the out of control lava from the furnace of ‘you know who’. Could it be our eyes are bright Emerald green from our life-long sate of unceasing envy for what we think God has held back from us while showering others with ‘underserved’ blessings. We might have ‘hammer-toes’ that fill us with pain each step, and continue to widen as we too often allow our feet to walk in forbidden environments that God knows will harm rather than help our Christian walk. Could a ‘spiritual peel’ empower our witness for Christ if we denied entrance to the Chocolate Diva that seems to live ‘loud and proud’ in mankind? Does God see our ‘main’ elbow that moves smoothly to our mouth as an instrument of pleasure or devious mischievous strength he knows needs to be a weak vessel rather than a monstrous agent of harm as buckets of blubber flow like the Nile in Egypt during spring monsoons and misshapen our bodies that alter our perceptions of our self-worth and usher in many temptations we often fail to resist.. He may desire to change the color of our eyes with a peel since he gave us beautiful, clear, shinning ones that are ‘windows to our soul’s spiritual condition, as Jesus said; but, we have clouded them with all manner of sin and they are diseased and sick as our biblical consciences have been muted, the filter from the world’s putridfication has been turned off, and as James taught, the enticements of sin have led us to a precipice of a spiritual death rather than given us pure vision for only heavenly sights. I certainly think God would do a peel on our hands for they are most often the entry way to touching forbidden things: outside of marriage, a man’s or woman’s naked body, a drunks ‘one for the road’, violence to control, to brutalize, or even murder; an instrument to deceive, sway, and unduly influence a Pilgrim to sin when they are often mistaken as tools of strength rather than a harbinger of evil.
Assuredly Pilgrims would need a peel for their brains. Even before Elementary School you have been taught one view of life and the world you live in. The enemy: Atheists, have managed to control most of what you are allowed to know, as Jesus Christ has been redacted from our daily lives in the market and public-square. Junk science: Evolution, fogs the child’s mind with false ideas about how man is God, and how Ex Nihilo (Out of nothing) Matter appeared and in one great orgasmic climax the universe was formed…scans of one iota of intelligence and design; but from random confusion that produced an ever changing outcome that presents a perception of finished reality. Only a fool in his heart declares there is no God!”
It will demand a tube of Spiritual Peel cream larger than the Empire State Building to remove even the first layer of sin from one’s mind that has mocked, denigrated, and rejected the inerrant word of a holy Creator to one day see a clear complexion: washed pure by the blood of Christ, that the omnipotent I AM will not need to turn away in disgust.
Our knees might pass muster, for we might feel they have been burnished from the Creator’s artistic brush and one’s thoughts rise to lofty heavenly heights for we long for the peel to be finished; and God may feel pleasure and delight when He sees our knees. Might we dare hope, If Pilgrims have spent ‘quality time’ in supplication before the All Mighty seeking his counsel and leaning upon his every nuanced principle, he may decide our knees don’t need the peel.
Two more days of applying this wretched cream to an extremely burned face and I’ll be heading in the right direction to achieve the medical outcome the doctor and I desire: a ‘peaches and cream’ complexion that will mirror a new baby’s butt. This is one of the many descriptions given to me by other Dermatology Peel survivors.
Wow! I finished my cream applications. I must have used too much cream when I started the peel, for a lot of my face was already undergoing flaky-edges of dead skin trying to fall off. After six hours of not having a new application, immense pain arrived. It felt like my entire face was trying to be pulled off. When I tried to smile or crinkle my forehead, hot pain shot a danger warning to my brain. I called my brother and asked him about this pain. I recall he gave me a warning about the need to use the Petroleum jelly as soon as the last application was applied: he went two days before he finally contacted his doctor to complain. He’s a better man than I am; I’d have been at the doctor’s office raising holy Ned! When the jelly was applied, my face suddenly felt like it was on fire and it looked swollen. After the initial feeling of being white-hot heated and experiencing the sensation of facial skin being pulled viciously off my face, the jelly began to massage the burned skin and ushered in blessed relief. I have fourteen days of jelly applications. Please keep me in your prayers!
This new phase of painful discovery about the peel forced me to contemplate the possible similarities between a Dermatology Peel and a Spiritual Peel. My search of the bible hasn’t turned up any examples of a potent cream used to change one’s looks, but there are analogies in abundance. The husbandry care-taker must prune the plants so new life will be seen in due time. The cutting away of dead, dying parts, and even healthy parts of a plant leaves it looking pathetic and unlovely If this isn’t done each year, new, beautiful, and healthy plants won’t be seen and appreciated by God and all of Creation. John’s gospel declares one must be ‘born again’, and his pronouncement mystifies the pagan world. Can a man be born again from his mother’s womb? Jesus is quizzed. My Peel is physical; Jesus pointed to Baptism water and the Holy Spirit’s work for a Spiritual Peel to be completed. Can there be a better one than becoming ‘a new creation in Christ’?
Pilgrims, can any deny that a Spiritual Peel is the most painful type known to man and God?
From the depths of Hell’s molten lave cauldron, stirred by Satan and his legions brewing up a frothy mix of ‘missing eternity’ soup, while accompanied by cackles of glee that turn a deaf ear, that yearns for a sound-proof environment that will lessen the noise and confusion running amuck inside a pagan’s brain, they mock the very idea of submission before the Savior’s cross. The Atheist rejects the idea a Spiritual Peel is possible.
A million, a billion advertisements showing Jesus pointing a finger towards Heaven: “I’m the way and the truth, no man come to the father except through me,” his earthly pronouncement, shakes the very foundation of Hell’s pit, and man falls prostrate in humility, as a sinner un-clean before Jesus’ feet; and one act of grace changes everything and the peel is finished. Out of the muck and mire of decadence comes a new Pilgrim; like early morning mist that shrouds that which is below it, a new Creation appears; different from any Pilgrim ever created.
Would you like a Spiritual Peel? The great Physician’s office is always open. Like eternity, his supply of cream never runs out.
I’m happy to report the peel is complete and it has delivered what it was designed to do! I look like my old self; but, with a better defense against skin cancer, and a smoother complexion. It was unable to provide me with a miracle: I don’t look like a movie star. In fact, my barber lifted my spirits: he told me I had gone from ‘butt ugly’ to just ugly.
I must apologize for my previous announcement about Pilgrims being able to download my latest Children’s book: GRANDPA’S MAGIC CARPET AND THE LOST TREASURE. I assumed it was finished and up on Amazon’s Kindle site; it wasn’t’. I failed to complete the things I had to do to finish the job. I can now tell you it is ready for download on Kdp (kindle Matchbook) for 2.99. It is a wonderful story about a Grandpa taking his grandkids on a magic carpet on these fantastic spiritual, fun journeys. It is the first book in a series of three. It is in large print so it is easy for children (8 and up) and especially grandparents, to read and enjoy.