“Your hands have gone blue, are you alright?” my friend asked me in a concerned voice. I looked and was about to dismiss her comment when my other friend said, “oh yes, your hands do look blue.” Both of them stared at my hands with worried faces. Later that day, yet another friend noticed my hands were blue. This time, my husband took notice and he rang a doctor friend. One of our team took photographs of my hands on his mobile phone and these were duly sent to the doctor. By now it was quite late at night. The reply came back and the advice was to seek help from the National Health Service helpline.
I was feeling fine but my husband insisted we phoned as “this could be serious.” By now I was being asked all kinds of questions about my health and passed from one advisor to another. Incredibly, and at a very late hour, I was asked to go by car to the local hospital. We set off to the hospital. All the time I was feeling fine. Whilst at the hospital, I answered the various routine questions and the duty doctor examined my hands, listened to my heart, took my blood pressure and looked in my ears and throat. There was absolutely nothing which gave him concern and he explained that this was a peripheral condition, possibly due to the cold weather, and not one that I needed to worry about.
We returned home relieved and yet puzzled as to what it could be. Tired following a long day, I was glad to have a quick wash and climb into bed. Whilst in the bathroom soaping my hands and face, I noticed a blue/grey tinge on the soap and then as I dried my hands with the towel – there it was! Blue streaks all over the white towel and, as if by magic, my hands had returned to pink!
I sheepishly confessed to my husband that the problem had been dye on my hands all along! But how did it get there? We could hardly sleep as we went through all the various possibilities. The following day the mystery was still with us until a new person hearing the story said, “have your bought any new jeans lately?” “Yes, I exclaimed!” Suddenly everything made sense!
How stupid I felt. How easy it was to let something small grow into something out of all proportion until it escalated into an emergency. How did we all get so carried along and buy into the problem! How did we miss the obvious! I felt even more embarrassed when telling my daughter the tale, she replied, “oh mum why didn’t you ring me, I would have told you, it was your jeans!”
I wonder how many of us perceive something to be true in terms of our problems and begin to take on board worry and even panic. We grow the situation in our minds and others help us grow it out of their misperception of the situation. It may be a healing issue which has become enormous in our mind and we imagine that it will need a whole range of treatment. However, when the real diagnosis is revealed it is simple and the treatment is profound. Just as the stain of the blue jeans came off my hands on to the towel with washing and cleansing, so can our stain of sin be washed and cleansed and taken by the Lord Jesus. All it needs is recognition and confession!
Sometimes we go around the problem thinking we have to fix it and change it ourselves. We don’t naturally or easily accept the simplicity of the stain of our sin. I was somehow deceived into accepting the sympathy and concern of others and building on their concern. I missed the root of the problem which would have saved me and others much embarrassment. I think the lesson of this story is to identify the stain of sin and to humbly receive forgiveness and cleansing before we look for deeper reasons for our problems.
Prayer: I’m sorry, Lord Jesus, that when I have difficulties I so easily look for my own solutions and to others for their solutions. Please help me to see my stain of sin and to come to You with my need for cleansing as the first priority. Thank You for being my remedy and paying the price for my freedom. Amen.
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