Sunday, January 16, 2011

Doing Surgery on Myself

I don’t normally talk about very personal stuff here, so I hope you’ll forgive me if this post is a bit, uh, personal. But I recently did a little light surgery on myself.

I had a rather unsightly mole, in a spot where people were unlikely to see it.  We all have moles, but they’re not usually topics of conversation, especially unsightly ones in hidden locations. Still, we all know they’re there.  And I was tired of this one.  Some of you might have moles like this, which are just barely attached.  My grandmother had one on her neck.  It hung by a thread. I don’t remember if she actually let me play with it, and twirl it around, or if I only imagined doing so.

My mole was rather large too.  And lately it had been somewhat inflamed; the skin around it was reddish. I think it had begun to ooze a bit. I was tired of it.  I wanted it to go away.  And in lieu of going to the doctor (because of our lack of insurance) I did what anyone would do these days:  I turned to the internet.

I read a few sites about mole removal.  “Always go to your dermatologist. Never remove a mole yourself.”  Or, “Seven home remedies for mole removal.”  Whatever. I have a friend who shall remain nameless, who removes skin tags with fingernail clippers.  *Shudder*

One option sounded doable to me. I looked in the mirror in the privacy of my bathroom and examined the mole.  I took some heavy-duty nylon thread.  I made a loop and placed it around the mole’s skinny little neck, and I gently encircled it, pulling the thread tighter and tighter.  Finally I tightened it so that it twinged and stung, but I was relentless.  I hated that mole.  I wanted it strangled to death. I persevered.  I cinched it tight, looked at it there (gasping for breath and wondering why I was being so cruel to it), and went on about my daily business.

The mole has a blood supply, of course, and is a part of my body.  It lives off me. I feed it and nurture it.  But it’s ugly, unsightly (what a fun word!). We tend to hide them with clothing, or maybe wear our hair long over our necks to cover up moles like this, don’t we? How many years do we cover up things that we really need to be rid of? When will we admit that it’s time to do a little surgery on ourselves?

Over the next 48 hours, the mole first turned purple, then turned black, and then shrunk to half its size.  I had not knotted the thread, because I wanted to continue to tighten the noose, as it were, and apply pressure to the mole, in case it was in any doubt of my intentions. After the first 24 hours, I was able to pull on that heavy-duty nylon thread as hard as I could, and it barely hurt.  I tightened it often during the day. Strangling that nasty parasite felt very good.

And yesterday morning, when I went to tighten the thread, I gave a gentle tug, and the mole came off, painlessly, cleanly, easily. The skin underneath was smooth and healthy;  there wasn’t even a drop of blood. I looked at the pitiful thing, dangling on its thread, and I grinned in victory, and said, “YES!!” I threw it in the trash. (I admit, I thought momentarily of keeping it for doctors to examine for cancer cells, but then thought, “When would I actually take it to a doctor for that?”)

I won’t mess with you. Sin is the unsightly thing that hangs on your soul and requires you to do some self-surgery. It’s a leech, in a way, but more than that -- it’s also a part of you, your skin.  It uses the blood from your heart, it’s attached to who you are.  It’s not going anywhere on its own. When will you decide that you will defeat it, strangle it, suffer some pain in the process, and remove it from yourself permanently, throwing it in the trash?

If I’d known how successful it would be, I would have removed that mole years ago. Don’t delay. Take out the heavy-duty thread of God’s Word and place it around the neck of the sin that besets you. And with God’s hands over your hands, pull.


  1. I tried to do that with a mole, but couldn't stand the sting of pain. Now I see an interesting parallel: I have the same problem with my besetting sin. I know in theory that it will be so refreshing and lovely and invigorating to be rid of that sin, but the pain of strangling it to death has stopped me from going all the way with its destruction.

    Thanks for this post. Cathy Newton

  2. That's the way we do it at the Urgent Care. You did it the right go girl!

  3. Cathy, thanks so much. I can stomach the physical pain. Spiritual pain? Not so much.

    Allison, I'm SO glad to hear that, b/c I really was wondering if I'd done something totally stupid. I should have asked you first!!

  4. I'm a fingernail clipper surgeon. I like the word picture you give of sin. It sticks in my mind well.



Hello! I hope you leave a word ~ I will get back to it as soon as I can!