There’s this thing called ecdysis, where a snake sheds its skin in one continuous piece. Periodically, one can find snake skins out in the wilderness. It always grossed me out, until I realized I have much in common with the snake.
I feel like a snake. Not in a ‘creepy, slithering’ way. But in a ‘leaving evidence’ way. You see, the snake skin lying on the grass proves to me that at one point, a snake was there. It is plain as day. You can observe and take note as to what the snake looked like, based on the skin the snake outgrew.
I shed my skin too. The evidence is the never ending need to dust. This is now a fun chore, thanks to my Norwex® Microfiber Enviro cloth.
What isn’t a fun chore is picking up the hair I shed. It is everywhere! My bed, my floor, my chair, my shower, my car, my clothes, my food. I know the average human sheds about 50 to 100 hairs a day. I think I’m way above average, and it grosses me out. The dead hair follicle is proof that I’ve been there, or I’ve used that, or I cooked that, or I’ve worn that.
So this weekend, when E said he found a long blonde hair on his kitchen chair in his apartment, I apologized and tried to refrain from gagging at the thought of my dead cells lying around. And then I had a revelation.
We all shed, some in a more obvious way than others. Aside from dead hair and skin cells, we’re all shedding. We leave parts of ourselves everywhere we go. Some people are more conscious of it, paying attention to what they’re leaving behind. Others don’t even recognize the wreckage smoldering behind them. What kind of evidence am I leaving? What proof is there that I was present? Is there a mess due to mean words and bitterness on the trail behind me? Or is there a testimony of grace and adventure? Is it plain as day the type of person I was at that moment in time? What observation can be made about my self and my God when looking at the evidence on the grass? What will be the outcome of my life? Am I proud of the skin I’m shedding? Am I excited for the new skin cells growing? Is my life, my faith, worth observing and imitating?
I’m reminded of a man, the first and last man I zipped up in a body bag. I was working as a nurse the night he died. Being close to the man and his family, I attended the funeral. One of his sons shared a Bible verse that spoke to my heart. “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7. When I looked at the body the man had shed the night he took his last breath, I was overwhelmed. Having a new body, face to face with Jesus, this old, diseased body was the only evidence I had of his existence. And what an existence it was. His life was worth remembering, his faith was worth imitating. He shed skin and hair while he was alive, and on August 29, 2011, he shed his earthly body.
I observed the outcome of his way of life and determined I want to be a person aware of what I’m shedding. I want to be conscious of the example I’m setting. I want to be leaving a legacy of deep love and abiding faithfulness. I want to leave positive imprints on the souls I encounter. I want the outcome of my life to redirect others to the One who gave me life in the first place.
So may you, dear one, pay attention. Consider your own life and ask the tough questions. Know you are shedding something, every day…are you proud of what you’re leaving behind?