A while ago, a disgusting video made the rounds on Facebook, and for some unknown reason—morbid curiosity, or a desperate desire to avoid actual work, maybe both—I clicked through. I’ll give the link, but really, don’t watch this thing unless you have a strong stomach and an irrational attraction to amateur medical procedures.
According to the caption, the video depicts the removal of a 25-year-old blackhead. Aunt Grace, the patient, has finally submitted to the ministrations of a niece who spends six minutes digging out this hideous black growth. Most Facebook commenters noted the fact that the niece and those assisting her aren’t wearing gloves, but I noticed what they did do.
They teamed up to help. They check on her periodically—“You OK, Aunt Grace?”—throughout what must have been a painful and embarrassing ordeal.
But you know what?
Aunt Grace asked for help. She had the courage and vulnerability to turn to her family to help her get rid of this thing that had bothered her for so long…and they did.
There is a bit of judgmentalism—at the end one of the relatives says “it’s disgusting,” which it is. But by golly, when that thing comes out and the nieces cheer, you feel relief on Aunt Grace’s behalf.
And the hole left behind shrinks almost immediately. It’s still there—a wound. But it’s small and unobstructed, not as it was before. Healing can begin.
Isn’t that how it is with bitterness? We can ignore it for years, pretend it’s not there, cover it up. But it will continue to grow and fester until finally it must be pulled out by brute force.
But that requires courage and vulnerability. It means baring ourselves to others so they can help. It means confessing our faults and letting someone see. But even though they may judge—how could you let it go so long?—true family, the church family, will see you through to healing.
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled.—Hebrews 12:15