I have a tell. When I go to chemotherapy, I am given large doses of steroids to reduce the risk of dangerous reactions to the drugs. A couple of hours after my infusion is complete, the steroids change my complexion. My face takes on the appearance of an embarrassed flush x 10 – turning bright red and hot to the touch. There is no denying what is happening. Make-up won’t cover it up and anyone who knows what is going on with me knows that it was chemo day.
I would rather have a tell like Moses. In Exodus chapter 34, he goes up to Mount Sinai to receive from God the second set of the 10 Commandments (after having broken the first). God instructed him to come by himself and “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.” (verse 29, NIV) The word “radiant” holds a much different meaning here than how you and I might use it to describe a bride on her wedding day, or the beautiful young girls headed to prom these last few weeks. Verse 30 tells us that “When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.” AFRAID. We are talking about a total transformation. Moses eventually veiled his face to put others at ease! I love the wording of the International Standard Version. Moses “did not know that the skin of his face was ablaze with light because he had been speaking with God.”
I can definitely relate to my face being “ablaze”, but how I wish it had nothing to do with steroids. I am praying for a different kind of tell. The kind I saw in someone recently at the REC center. When you work in a gym environment, you see a lot of the same customers coming in and out as they faithfully pursue their fitness goals. One young man in particular caught my attention because of the joy he exhibited on a consistent basis. I finally stopped him one day and just asked, “Are you a believer?” He answered me in the affirmative and I told him I could just tell. And that’s what I want for me. I want to be so transformed by my time with my heavenly Father that others can tell where I’ve been. I want to shine so brightly for him that others don’t see me at all anymore. I want to disappear into who He is and who He would have me to be. I want change that will last long after this cancer battle is over. I’m striving toward a transformation more life-changing and permanent than red ‘roid face could ever be.