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Let's Not Be Rash

The past few weeks, I've been battling a skin rash.

This is nothing new for me. Dealing with allergies my entire life, and having sensitive skin, hives are a pretty common occurrence.

One day when I was about 8 or 9, we'd been picking strawberries at my Aunt Doris'. I was rewarded with a bowl of strawberries. Sitting at my aunt's dining room table, I dug in.

"Stop."

My mom reached over and told me to stop eating. She could see that I was breaking out in hives as I ate. And that ended my ability to eat strawberries.

Strawberries: God's gift to the world of fruit. I mean: such decadence! Eat 'em plain, throw 'em in champagne, dip them in chocolate. And I'm allergic.

I joke that one of my first questions upon entering Heaven will be, "Hey, God. How come I couldn't be allergic to Brussel sprouts?" And I'm hoping that at this point, strawberries and cream will be served.

Right now, I've had a rash on my arms and legs. It's itchy. It's ugly. After a few trips to my doctor, I was referred to a dermatologist. We've worked to get it calmed down, but it's still there.

Can you imagine what life would be like if we wore our sins on our skin? For a long time, lepers were thought to do this. "Unclean, unclean!" A person with such a horrible distortion of their skin must have done something to deserve this. Right, Lord: who's sin is this, the man or his parents?

It's all too easy to blame God for everything. What have I done to deserve this? I'm trying so hard to do Your will, and this is what I get? Really??

Dark-haired Daughter asked me yesterday about Adam and Eve. Why did God punish them? Why was God so mean?

I explained that God had given us Paradise, and we chose hives. Everything was perfect, and humans chose - free will! - our way instead of God's. We lost the garden, we lost Paradise ... and we chose an itchy, scaly rash.

What a mess. I wish I could blame it all on our original parents and original sin, but I know that I'd be just as likely to make the choice Adam and Eve did. Sure, God told us not to eat from that tree, but He didn't really mean it, right? I'm sure it will all be fine.

When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes,and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

The man said, He told me to wash. I did. And my sight was restored. It sounds so simple. A skin rash is, pardon the phrase, more than skin-deep. It doesn't take much to clear up the skin, but what of the soul? And that is what Jesus did.

Let's not blame God for the effects of original sin. We chose it, and we choose it over and over again. Even when we know it's itchy and horrible and bad. Our hope must be in Christ.

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