*** Warning ***
*** This article includes a topic that even the strongest stomachs will find difficult to digest.***
The Rev was out for a walk the other day and while charging along the payment, he came across a girl with a beauty to match even Helen of Troy. The Rev could not but help let his mind wonder, playing out a Mills and Boon like made for TV movie with him as the hero and this new objection of his affection as the heroine.
So enamoured by her, he quickened his pace just so that he could get a whiff of her. As she opened the cafe door, she was greeted by a Greek god of a man, a hero of antiquity; with his chiselled jaw, short black curly hair, piercing blue eyes a perfectly trimmed stubble. And in that second, the Rev felt a sense of shame, a grief over his carnal lust for this complete stranger and a self loathing for not having spotted the danger the minute she caught his gaze.
Short of breath, he went into the toilet of the same Costa Coffee that the new ‘thorn in his flesh‘ was quietly enjoying a hot beverage with her partner. With the spirit of Lutheran self-abasement, the Rev felt the need to confess, to do penance, to wallow in the shame of the lust in his mind.
Closing the door, he turned to the lavatory and there before him was the most upsetting sight he could imagine seeing, a natural abhorrence that makes even the strongest squeamish, a level of grossness it has no metaphor or equal; a used sanitary towel. While he couldn’t stand to look at it for any length of time, it brought to his mind to Isaiah as he uses it to express absolute disgust on a few occasions. They are:
“All of us are like someone unclean, all our righteous deeds like menstrual rags; we wither, all of us, like leaves; and our misdeeds blow us away like the wind.” (Isaiah 64:6)
“Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you!” (Isaiah 30:22)
The background to each passage is a little different and the analogy of the dirty cloth is used in slightly different ways in these verses to convey different ideas. But the point remains, there are very few things in this world that can generate a level of disgust more than a used sanitary towel. And in both cases, the metaphor serves as a description for the most abhorrent aspects of human nature, namely ignoring Him and living by your own code of conduct. The Rev doesn’t want to be seen as a a filthy piece of material. The Rev deep down knows that self-abasement can never achieve absolution, it can never pay the debt that the misdemeanour demands. In these moments of real self-awareness, the Rev is grateful for Jesus Christ and for what he has done and is glad that God will not consider him a filth rag as he rests in Him.