Monday, October 14, 2013

Lady Macbeth in White

During a high school reading of "Macbeth," I was assigned to read the part of Lady Macbeth.  I was intrigued as she tried to wash out the bloodstains from her hands that only her guilty conscience could see.

Years later, I began to feel her frustration personally.

When I first started as a nurse over three decades ago, the practice of wearing white for nurses was beginning to turn.  Those of use who worked in what is caused "specialty units" were allowed to wear scrubs of different colors.  Nurses who worked on the "floors" were still wearing white.  To designate that we were indeed nurses, and not other hospital personnel, we were required to wear white lab jackets.

I can't tell you how many times I have stood over a sink trying to remove blood stains from my white jacket.  It didn't matter how hard you scrubbed, or how hot the water, there always seemed to be a remnant of that blood stain -- like Lady Macbeth's -- that would not wash out.  

It didn't take long for a nurse much more experience to tell me the secret.  

"There's only one thing that is going to turn that white. . . hydrogen peroxide," was her sage wisdom to me.  

As I dropped the clear liquid onto my jacket, it was miraculous.  The reddish brown stain turned snow white.  You could never even tell my jacket had been soiled.  Since that day I have used hydrogen peroxide to take stains out of many lab jackets, although now, the white jackets have gone by the wayside and our jackets match our scrubs (thankfully a wine color which hides  stains of all sorts very well.)

I have been sure throughout the years to pass along this golden tidbit to other nurses, care techs and physicians in need of a quick clean-up.

The stains of sin are just like those blood stains on my jacket.  We can scrub ourselves into trying to be good enough for heaven.  We can use all sorts of items, rituals and activities to attempt to  wash away our sins, but we will never be totally, completely clean.  There is only one thing that will wash us as "white as snow" and turn us into new creatures "alive unto God."

That one thing, that miracle cure, is the Lord Jesus Christ.  When we enter into a believing relationship with Him by faith, He is the one who washes us and causes us to be a "new creature."  Let us give up our own useless self-efforts to clean ourselves and trust His limitless power to "create in me a new heart."

Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

John 14:6
 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
Colossians 3:10
"And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:"

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