A couple of weeks ago our youngest boy scraped his knee. The wound was in dire need of a proper cleaning. My wife, in such a nurturing way, brought out the hydrogen peroxide.
Jude protested, “NO! Not the poison dioxide!”
We explained that if the cut was not properly cleaned that it might develop an infection. He did not want that. But he also did not want the “sting” that comes with the liquid that was before him. In other words, both options were going to hurt (or so he was convinced).
This reminds me a bit of what takes place in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. C.S. Lewis introduces the reader to Eustace – a boy who turns into a dragon due to his greed and selfishness. Aslan the Lion (the Christ-like figure) leads him to a clear pool of water. The rest comes from Eustace’s perspective as he recounts:
I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now… the very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt…. Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought, only they hadn’t hurt – and there was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been… Then he caught hold of me… and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment… Then I saw… I’d turned into a boy again” (29).
How might you come clean? What will repentance cost you? Will the pain be worth it all?