Spots                 February 2017

I look at myself in the mirror as I shave and realize that most of the moles, freckles, and spots are on the left side of my face. Being a left brain dominant, I attribute the “normal” right side of my face to the incredible ability of my organized brain. It keeps those flaws away from the right side of my face.   That left facade with its colors and various markings is obviously controlled by the more artistic right brain. Perhaps I am overthinking things. The mole in my left eyebrow, which would be your right-hand side, has this nasty habit of pushing the hair up and giving me the appearance of doubting everything you are saying. I can’t direct that anymore than I can control where the freckles appear.

These marks on my face are so normal for me that I have come to look at them as little friends. Anyone else glancing at them would not feel that way. It puts to mind things which are obvious for others but to which we become almost blind.

We ignore the apparent because it’s comfortable for us.   To us the obvious problems of others seem easier to fix than the challenges we face.   If another is 50 pounds overweight and yet spends $500 per month on vitamins to prevent cancer, we might consider that foolish. That person will realize, moments before his fatal heart attack at 56, how poorly the vitamins were at preventing any cancer. The point is – we should correct within ourselves the things which are most obvious before taking on minor things less concerning.   It is like the woman seeking to give up fantasizing while having an extramarital affair. The affair is far more damaging to everyone concerned than thinking about some movie star.

Jesus said in Luke 6:42 ” . . . first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” He meant for us to quit judging and advising others about their problems. I assert that He also wanted us to take care of our failings, especially our “plank” level problems which are of concern to Him.

There was a liquor store in the Hotel San Diego. We installed a video camera to protect our clerks and to watch one fellow who we thought was stealing. As we watched the tapes we discovered an unrelated series of interesting encounters. The city jail was a block away. As each newly released prisoner came up the street, the first thing he wanted was a cigarette and a drink. They came in and ordered a pack of smokes and a pint of booze. Then virtually each one of them said something like – “You know what they had me in there for? I only shot him once.” Or “I only had 28 tickets; it’s not like I was a child abuser.” Or “I only stabbed her three times; I wasn’t trying to kill her.” All considered themselves not guilty. They might be trying to stop smoking, but on the big issues, they were as blind to their faults, and as comfortable with them, as I am the spots on my face.


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