"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's Just a Milia

There is a well kept secret here in town called Seasons Spa and Salon. Upon one of my last visits, I received a gift card for a complimentary facial – the works. So being after Christmas and needing a little pampering, I decided this would be the week to go.

After filling out the necessary paper work and donning a décolleté wrap, I found myself resting on my back in a dimly lit room listening to soothing piano music encased in ocean waves. The built-up wedding and Christmas stress was quickly responding and beginning to fall away even before the therapy had begun.

After numerous layerings of oils and cleansers and exfoliants, small patches were placed over my eyes, a bright light was turned on, and a scrutiny begun. Actually, the facial expert was quite complimentary. She said I was pretty well hydrated and there was still a good elasticity to my skin. (When I told her how old I was, she was particularly impressed “for someone your age” -- which I did not find that humorous.) But in the midst of all her accolades and my pride of my own cleansing techniques and abilities, she said, “You do have a milia here on your forehead.” Oh, no! A milia? Yes, I had a pocket of dirt lodged under the skin, only visible under direct light inspection.

I don’t know about you, but, spiritually speaking, I have bad days and good days. On bad days, I know when I have messed up big time in the sin department for it has been flagrant and willful. It’s on those days that nothing short of falling on my face in repentance will do, the place where there’s not only forgiveness but no condemnation either. And how I praise God for that place. And then there are the good days, when I’ve behaved in a manner worthy of any seasoned Christian, earning the blessings of God (or so I think).

But as I was reminded in my morning devotional, God doesn't grade on a curve. I am to “be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” And perfection according to God’s standards entails loving Him with all my heart, soul, and mind – and my neighbor as myself. Oh, but I got my disciplines right today. I read my Bible, I did my devotional, I prayed. I even started working on some Scripture memory. But then there's that hidden pocket of dirt, and it requires the same dependency of grace as that willful sin of disobedience.

Yes, sometimes I may be more conscious of a particular sin, but never more needy of His grace than when it’s just a "milia" visible only under the scrutiny of Light.

It's amazing what one can learn at a spa in just an ordinary moment….

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