Life in skin and toenails

You are going to think I’m so weird. Oh, you are just going to be so weirded out.
Are you ready for this?
I love clipping my toenails. Whew. There, I said it. (you do think I’m weird, don’t you?)
Something about it is so satisfying, getting rid of part of the old, dead toenail. (you may never read my blog again)
And being sure to cut straight across to avoid those ingrown toenails I’ve struggled with for so long. I actually get excited when I see that my toenails need clipping. (you’ll never speak to me again. Didn’t want to know that, did you?)
Goodbye, toenail clippings. Goodbye old. Goodbye, dead. (well, it was nice knowing you while you thought I was normal)
I found myself rubbing off dead skin tonight as I scrubbed my feet and ankles after a long day of walking and sight-seeing in Vienna. It was like when you trying to use a tissue to wipe up a spill. It just sort of crumbles into a wet, fibrous mess. But it was satisfying to get rid of the old, dead skin so that the new can breathe.
Newness is the theme of my semester. New place, new language, new friends, new school, new experiences, new adventures, new spirit. So is freshness. Fresh face, fresh air, fresh faith, fresh boldness, fresh energy.
Re-newed.
Re-freshed.
Cut and clipped and rubbed down to the part of me that should be here. As it says somewhere in the new testament, get rid of the old yeast so that you may be a new batch…. As you really are.
Be as you are.
He makes me as I am, the part of me that has been dormant inside, waiting to be found anew. He makes me as He made me. Fresh and clean, with a history but without shame.
This is what holy week is about.
He makes us new. We are new because He was willing to do whatever was necessary to make us new. He was willing to make us new because we have to be new to know. To know Him.
Only when I scrub the dead skin off can the skin underneath be alive and be seen.
In the words of Jason Gray:
I’m not who I was. I’m being remade. I am new. I am new. I am chosen and holy and I’m dearly loved. I am new. I am new.
Too long I have lived in the shadows of shame, believing that there was no way I could change, but the One who is making everything new doesn’t see me the way that I do. He doesn’t see me the way that I do.
Forgiven, beloved, hidden in Christ. Made in the image of the Giver of life. Righteous and holy. Reborn and remade. Accepted and worthy, this is our new name…
This is who we are now.
This week, I scrub off dead skin and cut my toenails to take off what is dead. I drink in His holy presence, inviting Him to make what is dead on the inside new. I invite Him into my deafness, my deadness, my darkness. Because He doesn’t ask me to clean it up or to light candles before He comes.
He is light. He is healer. Hope. Redeemer.

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2 thoughts on “Life in skin and toenails

  1. Looovvveeee…..At first, kind of questioned. Made the shape with my mouth and eyes like….ohhhhhhhh where is she going here….but loved it. Perfect way to compare…Loved it. Thank-you Ashley for the reminder of what this week is about. We have such an awesome God. Hope you are enjoying time with your Mom and Dad. Love you.

    • So glad you stuck around for the rest of it, Dawn :) I know. Kind of a risky start but I’m glad you approve of the end :) Love you too! I am having a lovely time with them!

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