I had to get a bunch of x-rays this afternoon. Stood on a cold linoleum floor in my argyle socks and hospital gown (tied in back) while a technician moved my body hither and yon to align my spine with the angle he wanted. There was even one taken with my mouth wide open, to show the bones of my neck from that angle. Being x-rayed is a fairly painless proposition on the surface of it. One doesn't feel the effects of those rays shooting through clothes and skin and muscle and organ all the way to bone. I simply stood there. And each shot was brief--they always are. But technicians always seal themselves away in glass enclosure where such rays will not touch them. Hurt them. And, even at my ripe old age, the technician wanted to be sure I wasn't pregnant before starting. "I'm 55 years old," I said.
He flushed. "You don't look it."
"Oh, well, maybe I should have just said I don't have a uterus," I said. "Then you wouldn't have known."
Then he REALLY blushed. I think it might have been the word uterus.
As I was standing there like a mannequin, being moved around as though I wasn't a self inside my body, I got to thinking about spiritual X-ray machines. What we might see in each other's souls if we could see beneath clothes and coverings down to each other's true skeletons. As soon as I thought it, I shuddered because it's a scary thought to imagine people knowing all the warts on one's soul. We work so hard to cover our bones with Christian muscle, with spiritual flesh. But I have to admit it often is simply pious fat.
Still, God's all about dividing muscle and marrow; about knowing what we keep deeply hidden. He IS the X-ray machine, I suppose one could say. He just is. He looks down at my life, and knows all there is to know. Doesn't have to rotate me against a plate so He can get a better angle on my pain. And He doesn't have to protect Himself from what it takes to see far inside me--or any of us. His whole being is invested in knowing us down to our core, cell-level. It's the whole point of our creation. Made in His image so He can know us. Because He knows us.
And even as He knows us--and knows all that ghastly stuff we hope will never see the light of day--He loves us. Right there in it. Right there in the X-ray room, He loves us. "Yep, that's where you're broken. That's where you're writhing in pain...You did it to yourself, of course. I see that, and I love you." That's what He says. "I have a way out. I have THE way out of whatever ugliness you find yourself in. I AM the way out."
Whatever it is, He is the way out. Hallelujah!