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what a manicure taught me
by collette mcfarland 
07/28/13
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What a manicure taught me

I got up one morning recently and did my nails. I chose a nice silver glitter color called “Bling Bling”. It’s not only rare that I use colors other than “natural” colors for my fingers it was the first time. In the past I’ve reserved silvers for my toes only, just to prove I, too, can be a rebel. I don’t know why, but reds and neutrals just seen more normal on the fingers. Fingers aren’t supposed to be blue or black, as a nurse I always want to tell someone with those colors to take a deep breath in case they are de-oxygenating; I’m not sure that’s actually a word you’d find in Webster’s dictionary. And when I see green nail polish I assume someone’s been gardening and forgot to wear gloves and then failed to wash their hands.

Anyway, I digress. After I applied my polish, which was in the form of nail strips versus liquid I preceded to my bible study. I read a few verses and came to my thumbs where they were holding my bible open. I stopped reading to admire the glitter and the perfect job I had done applying the strips. The nail strips were a fantastic invention, no messy polish out of place, impeccable contours at the base of my nails and they were promised to last much longer than their fluid counterpart. Man, my nails looked fabulous. I had to hold my hands up in front of my face to admire them from all angles. I had done such a pretty job, it made me feel like somebody and I could do them at home by myself, no help from anyone. Regular nail polish I went to a manicurist for, because I’m a clumsy painter.

After a few minutes I resumed my bible study only to once again get distracted by my gorgeous fingers. Ultimately I abandoned my efforts at reading and worship; I just couldn’t concentrate because of the “Bling Bling.”

Some days later I was back with my bible, not for the first time but again, and my fingers diverted my attention one more time, only in this instance it was to notice the paint had chipped and the “Bling Bling” was cracking. I held my hands up again to scrutinize, this time unfavorably. My nails looked awful; it was time for a redo. I felt shabby, and not meticulous. To have nice manicured nails one must keep at it consistently and I didn’t have the patience for daily nail grooming.

Oh, oh. Something just struck me. Was it lightning? The words I was reading were the same words I’d read before years ago. Nothing had changed, not one tittle or jolt. God’s word was consistent. It still had the same “Bling Bling” from the day I started studying it, from the day I had come to God and Jesus; when I had come to him as a cracked and chipped individual in need of his presence and saving power. He had saved me then and made me somebody: his child, a saint and an heiress. I couldn’t do that by myself, I had needed his help, his death, his blood, and it was permanent salvation. No need to redo it daily. But I realized this relationship we had had to be fed daily. I had to meet with God routinely and I had to do it without the distractions that the world throws at us in the shape of manicures and impermanent glitter . I may just need to wear gloves from now on during bible study, either that or cut off my fingers.

Proverbs 3:13-20
Proverbs 16:16
Malachi 3:6
1 cor. 1:2
Gal 4:5
1 Peter 1:3-9


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