How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Luke 6:42 (NIV)
There are a lot of advantages to growing older like not caring what people think about you. Or having a less demanding family life and more time to do hobbies or travel. People nod in understanding when you excuse yourself from meetings saying, “I don’t like to drive at night anymore.” They understand when you take a nap in the middle of the afternoon. But, there is one thing that midlife brings that makes me crazy. Hair on my chin. It’s been a problem for me for almost twenty years, but I will never get used to touching my chin and feeling the prickles of an incoming hair. And it usually happens just before a meeting so I spent the time looking thoughtful as I rub my chin, but what I am really wondering is how quick I can get to a mirror and some tweezers and pull out the offense. The difficultly comes when I can feel it before the hair is at a long enough length for the tweezers to grasp them. Or my old eyes to see them. That’s why, lately, I have spent a lot of time in front of a small hand held five inch disc called a magnifying mirror. With magnification, I can see every pore on my face, the broken veins, the baggy eyes and the skin peeling off my chapped lips. It is an ugly sight. But, I endure it, even welcome it, in my effort to get rid of the skin prickles. What makes me crazy is when I check my chin in the morning before going to work, but hours later, I run my fingers over my face and there it is. That tiny rough speck that indicates a hair has worked its way to the surface while I drove to the office. It is probably a good thing it didn’t expose itself until I was already settled in at my desk. Otherwise, I would be sitting in traffic squinting into my rear view mirror trying to pull it out with my fingers. I was thinking about Jesus’ words about the speck in someone’s eye and the plank in your own, while I was thoughtfully rubbing my chin fretting over whether anyone could see the offense. In truth, the incoming hair is smaller than a grain of sand. Less offensive than a crumb. And it is white so unless someone violated my personal space and got right into my face, they likely do not see it. But, I know it is there and it bothers me. Whether you have a plank in your eye or a hair on your chin, Jesus came to take care of it. If there is sin in your life, give it to Him, ask forgiveness and for help in overcoming it. Jesus understands your struggles. Come to think to it, Jesus was a man so he knew all about facial hair. But, then, he had a beard. Maybe I should grow one, too.