“Oh mom.  Your hands!  That’s terrible!!  I can’t even look at them.  It makes me want to throw up!”  exclaimed Jessica.

“Yeah, mom.   Can’t you cover them with make-up or something?”  added Cory.

The kids were reacting to the skin cancer treatments that had just taken place on my hands.  Pre-cancer was what my doctor stated before proceeding to freeze quite a number of spots.  “Will it hurt?”  I asked.  He truthfully admitted it would.  Tingling was the word he used.  Within minutes my hands looked horrendous.

The kids were absolutely right.  I wished I had a way to conceal the necessary ugliness.  I found myself pulling on my sleeves, trying to cover up the blemishes whenever I was near people.  If there was even a quick glance my way, explanations began streaming from my mouth.  I felt vulnerable, embarrassed- wanting to hide the unsightliness.

It seems the perfect analogy of how God deals with us.  The doctor sat me down, turned on a bright light, slowly examining every inch of my skin.  He began pointing out things I had no idea were there.  Only with his trained eye and careful scrutiny were cancer spots found.  As we allow the Holy Spirit to search our lives, he exposes areas that need to be “treated” – things we may have no idea are lurking below the surface.

In my life, God continues to reveal wrong attitudes, selfishness, pride, insecurity, along with a whole list of ugly stuff.  I want the junk out of my life.  Though the process is painful, letting it run its course brings freedom.  Daniel 2:22  “He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.”

As my hands heal, they have gone from bad to worse before beginning to look better.  In about a week they will be as good as new.  While it takes quite a bit more time for issues of the heart to heal, there is such hope and grace in Christ.  He lovingly keeps working on us as we allow Him access to our inner self.  Psalm 44:21  “Would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?”

Finally, I love these verses:  Psalm 24:3-4  “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?  Who may stand in his holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart.”

Lord, don’t give up on me.  I desire clean hands and a pure heart… in more ways than one.