“. . . but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence . . .” (1 Peter 3:15-16).
It was only
a casual glance at the mirror as I walked passed -- a moment when my eye
stole a glimpse at my reflection. But what a moment it was! The whole of
nature stopped, turned in my direction and waited for my response to that . . .
that little white and grey thing hanging from my left nostril.
Who’s seen me like this?"
I yanked a
tissue from my pocket and attacked my nose, cocking and twisting my head to make sure I removed every last trace of that horrible sight. But then the
knot in my stomach tightened. How long had I walked around totally ignorant of
my desperate plight? When did I last blow my nose? Just before I left the
house? Three hours ago!
I tossed the
tissue into a trash can and hurried off, wondering why no one had told
me. Surely they’d seen it. Anyone looking in my direction from the
next state could have seen it!
But the more
I thought about it, the more I understood why they remained silent. They were as embarrassed to mention it as I was to discover it. They thought, "Maybe he'll scratch his nose and discover it without my having to
bring up the subject." Or, "Maybe someone else will tell
How do I
know that's what they probably thought? Because I
have made those same dumb excuses when I've looked at someone's face and
wondered "How do I tell him about his dirty nose?"
believe it or not, there is a spiritual point in all this, because in dealing
with my own embarrassment I learned two important things about dirty faces –
and eternal life.
mirrors are very important. Had I not seen my reflection in the mirror, I might
have continued through the rest of the day with that thing dangling on my
nose. But that common looking glass reminds me of another mirror –
the Bible. That is why the Holy Spirit tells us in the New Testament book of
For the word of God
is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far
as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to
judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature
hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him
with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:12-13)
When I read
the pages of God's "mirror" much more serious blemishes catch my eye.
Like the piece of mucous stuck to the end of my nose, those cursed spots (God
calls them sin) sometimes cling stubbornly to my life. And although
discovering those blights are not among my favorite moments, without His
mirror, my spiritual "nose-slime" would remain stuck to me, unclean,
unconfessed and – consequently - unforgiven. The embarrassment of discovering
that thing dangling from my nose cannot compare to the shame I would eventually
experience if I stood unclean before the Lord.
me to the second point: Walking around all morning with a dirty nose is not the
worst thing that will ever happen to someone. But dying unclean in sin
wished someone had told me my nose was dirty, but I am forever
thankful someone told me my life was dirty. I am forever
grateful that person pointed me to God's word where I learned not only of sin's
stain on my life, but also of Christ’s blood which can cleanse me.
nose reminded me again how badly people need someone willing to risk
embarrassment and tell them, kindly and with humility, their lives are dirty.
They need someone - like you and like me - to tell them they need a savior.
If we don't
tell them about Jesus Christ, who will?