This horrible rash of poison ivy showed up on me last week. It was miserable. Up until last week, I had escaped an outbreak of this itchy, red, blistery stuff. It is very painful and very itchy. As the week progressed, it just got worse. The blisters were irritating even when my bed sheets rubbed against them. So after a night of no sleep, I opted to go see the doctor for some medicine to miraculously cure my ailment.
Thinking back, I realized that the week before I had gone out to my flower gardens and went to town weeding and pulling and pruning. Since I live in a forest, poison ivy grows rabidly. It had been about ninety degrees that day, so I went out in my shorts, gardening gloves and tennis shoes. I had opted to forget about boots because – who needs boots, right???
Obviously, I NEED BOOTS!
My vigorous weeding continued for hours and I looked at the beautiful, hillside garden and relished at my work. It was perfect.
Then something very bad happened. The itching began on one leg a couple days later, then a few bumps appeared, then more bumps, then the other leg got itchy and bumpy. It was crazy. I am sure you are getting the picture. All up and down my legs were these horrible looking blotches of red, itchy areas, and I had a conference to attend. No hosiery or makeup would cover up this disease looking ailment. Nope. Even the steroids that the doctor gave me didn’t clear it up. The medicine stopped the spread, but it still was itchy, blotchy and red.
So off I went to purchase some cheap long skirts and pants to cover up this horrible looking creature that had appeared on my body. I didn’t want anyone at the conference to see my “yuckiness.” Who would want to see that? Right?
At the conference, I was constantly pulling down my pants as I crossed my legs so no one would see the mess on my skin. I tried to hide it. I covered it as best I could, but it still popped out into visible site. As the weekend continued, I realized that even though this poison rash made me uncomfortable, it really didn’t bother others. (Okay, except for my roommate who got to see it exposed every night as I treated it with ointment). For the most part, it was my problem, not any one else’s problem.
My whole life I have spent so much wasted time covering up my ailments and ugliness. I have tried to buy the long skirts of isolation to cover my sins; always hoping that no one would see them or that my skirt my slip and reveal those bad choices.
The only way I can truly release all that ugliness is to allow God to uncover them and to face them head on. Let people see that I am who I am because of those mistakes. I have found faith and trust in God on a deeper level because instead of constantly covering up myself, I uncovered God’s beauty underneath all that blotch, itchy rash. It was there all along. It was under that rash of sin. The “it” I am referring to is the beauty of God within me.
I am who God created me to be. I strive everyday to reveal His beautiful presence within my soul. I know it is there.
During my conference last weekend, I heard over and over again that we are all unique. We were made that way so that we could shine God’s light like no other human being on this planet. We see God through our own goggles – NO ONE ELSE CAN SEE HIM THAT WAY. Through our love of God, we will expose that vision to others. Isn’t that beautiful?
So, don’t cover up your rashes of poison ivy. Uncover them. Uncover your sin. Share your story. Touch lives. Grow God’s Kingdom.
Habakkuk 1:5 Look over the nations and see, and be utterly amazed! For a work is being done in your days that you would not have believed were it told.