Wednesday, January 13, 2010

30 Days of Touch -- Lotion

I'm not a lotion using sort of guy. At least until lately. Nancy got me a bottle of men's hand and body lotion for Christmas. MEN's. For a manly guy like me -- no generic family use stuff. Ha.

Well, it doesn't smell too bad -- no lilacs or rosewater -- so I decided I'd try it. Surely a little couldn't hurt. Well, that little trial became daily use. My skin -- usually dry and flaky (like me) in winter -- is now radiant and smooth. Well, okay, maybe not exactly radiant and smooth. But it is certainly less dry. It feels better.

I've especially enjoyed using it on top of my little bald head. Evidently my skin had been hungering for some moisture and the lotion has worked wonders.

As I put it on this morning, I began thinking of an old gospel song -- "A Balm in Gilead"

There is balm in Gilead,
To make the wounded whole

Then at work today I've been listening to Ricki Lee Jones' new CD "Balm in Gilead." Which again brought the old song to mind.

So, I began wondering, what's that about? Why all this stuff about balm?

Perhaps, I thought, it's because your soul is as badly in need of balm as your skin was. Indeed, there have been some spiritual dry skin and hurts lately -- a betrayal, worries over friends' illnesses, family concerns, relationship problems, and other disappointments. All the stuff of everyday life ... but as hard on the soul's skin as a windy Hoosier winter day is on my epidermis.

And that balm, for me, is the presence of Christ in my life. It is a presence I welcome even in silence because of Jesus intimate knowledge of sorrow. His experience of my condition brings me solace. I am with Emily Dickinson when she said:

When Jesus tells us about his Father, we distrust him. When he shows us his Home, we turn away, but when he confides to us that he is "acquainted with Grief," we listen, for that also is an Acquaintance of our own.

So come on in Jesus. Pour your balm on my wounded soul. Bind my hurts with your presence. No words are needed. No explanation. Just be with me -- sharing our acquaintance with grief.

-- Brent

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