As Plain as the Nose on My Face
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. (James 1:22-24 ESV)
A few years ago I had some cancer removed from the tip of my nose. While it was minor surgery and they got all the cancer cells, for me . . . it was traumatic.
In the days following, the bandage that covered the stitches was coated in dried blood and my entire nose looked swollen and was now non-symmetrical. I hid in the house for days until I was able to go in and have the stitches and dressings removed. Finally!
The doctor – a plastic surgeon – worked quickly and seemed pleased with his results. He suggested that I let it ‘air out’ and then cover it with a small bandage only when necessary. ‘Are you kidding?’ I thought to myself, ‘I can hardly wait to stop walking around looking all bloody.’ As I got up to leave, I asked if he had a mirror. Oh. My. Word. It looked like the end of my nose had been put through a meat grinder. This was not good.
Long story short (too late, I know) but I walked around with a rather scary looking 'snoz' for a few weeks. The first few days I was very self-conscious, avoided mirrors and never made eye contact with anyone. But after a bit, I would leave the house and forget what I looked like, (until someone would point or stare in horror). It was a humbling journey but I am thankful that He healed me and taught me much through the process.
My nose short-term-memory-loss experience reminds me of when I hear a great sermon at church and feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit nudging me to repentance. However, after chatting and greeting my friends following the service, I sometimes forget what I just heard. The call on my heart for transformation gets drowned out by others’ voices and I go on with my day without having allowed time for confession and for the Holy Spirit to do a work in me. I hear but do not do!
Father, forgive us for having such short attention spans. Help us to take in Your Word and when we hear You whispering Holy Spirit, to take time to tarry with You as we repent and allow cleansing and transformation to take place in our lives. Amen.