“Hiding CT scan solution in apple juice is like hiding an elephant in your fridge!! There’s a bad tasting footprint in every mouthful!! Here we go again … Routine scan … Oh joy!!”
This was my Facebook post on Tuesday that I sent from the imaging centre where I was having my follow-up CT scan. I posted it under a picture of the guilty apple juice after I took my first tentative sip. Despite the cold sweet juice, the bitter imaging solution made me wince and my saliva glands kick into action. To top it all, it then took them over half an hour and numerous attempts to find a cooperative vein to put my IV in. Apparently I’d make a useless heroine addict! But I did what I had to, to stay one step ahead of any returning cancer. I made light of it, ploughed on and tried to sweeten the whole ordeal like they’d sweetened that foul liquid with juice.
Then it got me thinking … how many things in my life, like the disgusting imaging solution, are bitter-tasting? And how and why do I cover them up?
I realized that there are some things in my life that are bitter, but unfortunately, horribly necessary. I can stomach doing these things when I hide them and disguise them with sweet tasting accompaniments. As with the pungent CT imaging solution that will ultimately help keep me cancer free, with a bit of apple juice, some jokes with the friendly nurses and a cupcake chaser (post scan!) I can tolerate the bad tasting footprint left in my mouth and make these things bearable.
Then there are the bitter things in my life that are not necessary at all and are definitely not good for me or anyone else in my world. If I’m brutal, I’d go so far as to say that they are at best unkind, and at worst, damaging. But they are there anyway, and I try and hide them, from myself and others, with sweet Christian thoughts and actions that I hope make them less ugly and make the bad tasting footprint in my mouth less bitter or visible to others. I wonder … is it just me?
Have you ever hidden your desire to know what the latest juicy news in someone’s life is, in a sweet question like “How are you doing?” or “How can I pray for you?” I hate to admit it, but I have.
Or maybe, like me, you’ve dressed up your need to look good and be needed in the sweet wrapping of publicly doing a compassionate deed for someone else.
And I’ve found the fear of failure is so easily camouflaged by being busy or working extra hard (for myself or for God).
Like the elephant in my fridge, these damaging, bitter things that I try to disguise never stay hidden for long. There’s normally a huge pile of mounting evidence pointing to their existence (like the elephant’s footprints in the butter!). My motives are normally revealed in some embarrassing way or another.
So I’ve decided to try and ditch the bitter parts of my life rather than try and disguise them with sweet sugar coatings that never fully cover up the taste. Instead, I’m going to work on my heart and my motives and let God have a go at them too! Without the apple juice to cover them up, the bitter sharpness should alert me to their presence before I fall too far!
But I’ll hang onto all the sweetness that covers the parts of my life that I just need to get on with however bitter they are. I can hold my nose and chug when I sweeten these tasks with good friends, good humor and a wonderful God by my side!! Whether that’s a CT scan or doing the laundry, with the right accompaniments I can swallow anything!!
Can I invite you to consider what elephants you are hiding in your fridge and what accompaniments make your life sweeter at times?
Do let me know what you are thinking. I’d love to hear from you.