I’ve recently been introduced to one of the greatest, most powerful TV shows I’ve ever seen. It’s called “Dr. Pimple Popper.” I know it sounds disgusting but I can’t stop watching it. It’s so fascinating to me. It must be to other people too cuz it’s a thing, but I love it!
The premise is there’s this Dr./Dermatologist named Dr. Sandra Lee aka “Dr. Pimple Popper” and she sees all kinds of people for all kinds of issues relating to skin disease, lipomas, cysts and other ailments too numerable to list here. She’s a fascinating human being who really seems to be passionate about helping people with their skin ailments. Go watch it, for real..oh did I mention it’s so gross you can’t stop watching?
What amazes me the most is the variety of clientele Dr. Lee sees She treats everyone the same and her reputation precedes her. She is known for helping people and providing solutions where others have failed. She’s is so full of compassion that it seems to put all the patients at ease, even the ones with fear of DOCTORS.
While the issues on the surface can seem trivial to some people I bet we can relate to a lot of these patients. Our issues may not be exactly the same but the pain they carry is very much the same. Shame, fear, rejection to name a few. As silly as it may sound to some, I remember my teenage battle with acne that dramatically affected my self confidence, something I really struggled with even before the acne came along.
I also grew up in a home where the appearance of things seemed to outweigh the reality of how they REALLY were. We always addressed the superficial issues while the real problems were allowed to fester under the surface(more about this in another blog.). So, I learned early and became a master of dealing with only what people could see even if it meant ignoring the root problem, another place I connected with theses patients.
The clients stories almost always started their story with something like “12 years ago I had a little lump about the size of a grain of rice on my neck and I just covered it up or ignored it.” Every story seemed like it always started as a small or seeming non issue, but here we are 12 years later with a lump the size of a softball that profoundly affected the persons mobility and they’re seeking relief for this issue from Dr. Lee.
Can you begin to see the spiritual parallel here? Doesn’t the big issue that we’re dealing with now always start with something small? Sometimes isn’t it even years later that whatever this that started small is has now made our lives unmanageable? I mean the consequences and pain far outweigh any benefit we are now receiving, right? For those of us with an addictive personality doesn’t it always start with, “oh it’s just a little porn”, or “it’s just a beer on the weekends”?
Ok, Back to Dr. Pimple Popper. The most insane thing to me about these clients stories is the fact that most of them have dealt with this issue for years and have ignored it or just dealt with it, meaning they just accepted it as their reality with no hope for change. Some testify that they’ve been to Dr’s before and the Dr. would just dismiss it as something that would just “go away on its own.” So out of frustration, and discouraged many of the clients just trudged through the years thinking to themselves, “well, I’ve seen a doctor and they won’t do anything about it, there must be no solution.”
Isn’t that what we do sometimes ? We tried something years ago and it didn’t work so we just begin to resign ourselves to the fact that things will always be this way? Maybe we tried to go to an AA meeting years ago and it didn’t stick so we just stopped trying, That was my story for a long time. I just couldn’t see how that would work for me. Maybe our loved ones have been nagging us for years to seek some help for some issue but we were too embarrassed about it so we never did. (But if you’re reading this and struggling let me say that there is hope!!)
This brings to mind an account in the Bible. Luke 8:43-48 tells about a woman with an “issue of blood” and her encounter with Jesus. One translation says that she had been to see Doctors her whole life and hadn’t been able to find a cure. She was the one who “touched the hem of his garmet” and was instantly healed. This raises a lot of questions in my mind but the most compelling is what drove her to Jesus? Why did it take so long? Was it something similar to what Dr. Lee’s clients had said? Had she been discouraged by all the doctors and their lack of solutions that she went to see Him as a last resort? Was it the pain?
In recovery we talk about pain a lot. We say pain is a gift. Furthermore we say things like “the gift of desperation.” We can testify that when the pain of CHANGE exceeds the pain of STAYING THE SAME, then real life change can happen. I know that this has been true in my story. Pain has been one of the, if not THE greatest motivator for any lasting and real change I’ve ever experienced.
Back to the woman with the issue of blood. The account in Luke sounds like the woman was almost ashamed that she had come to seek healing from Jesus. Verse 47 says she spoke up “when she realized that she could not stay hidden”. This sounds a lot like the people who came to see Dr. Lee. Shame had kept them from trying to find a solution but they’re met with nothing but compassion from Dr. Lee. She examines them thoroughly and makes a plan for how to best help them.
I find it intriguing too that many of Dr. Pimple Popper’s clients don’t necessarily seek her help on their own. Sometimes it’s a family member or friend who has heard about her miraculous feats that ends up propelling the person in front of Dr. Lee to bring about the life changing event.
There’s an account in the Bible of Jesus healing a paralyzed man(Mark 2). It goes on to talk about the paralyzed man being healed. Fascinating, but the part that grabs me is this, He had 4 friends(we don’t know their names) who couldn’t get the man to Jesus because of the crowds around him. They literally tore the roof off the sucka (I like to think this is where PFunk stole the title to this song) to get their friend in front of Jesus. It wasn’t necessarily the faith of the man who was paralyzed but the faith of his friends that led to his healing.
I will always think about my friend Robby when I read this story. Robby believed for me and in me when I didn’t. I was paralyzed in my life by several things including a life threatening addiction to drugs and alcohol(which was just a symptom of a much bigger problem). Robby believed that if I ever heard the good news of Jesus that my life could turn around. One night he invited me to church which is the one place that if you’d asked me, I wouldn’t wanna go and there were absolutely no solutions to be found there for my train wreck of a life, at least I thought.
Robby “carried” me to hear a guy named Ken Freeman share his story one Wednesday night in November of 2002. I heard Ken share a story that was eerily similar to mine in many respects. So much so I thought my friend Robby must have conspired with him before hand. Anyways, that night I heard how this Jesus had set Ken free and I knew in that moment I knew I needed that Jesus. I needed The Healer.
Maybe the parallels in this blog are glaringly obvious so I’ll try to to rehash too much. Like the clients going to see Dr. Pimple Popper who had ignored or covered up their issues for various reasons, i have been in those shoes spiritually time and time again. Each time I have been met by the ultimate surgeon and healer with compassion and grace that I can’t even wrap my mind around.
I’m under construction for sure but I am not where I once was. God keeps on working on me helping me see what’s giving me REAL life and what’s not. This process is the healing. It’s happening bit by bit sometimes but it IS happening. I believed there’s a fancy word for this called sanctification but I just know I’m not who I was and I’m continually changing and being changed by Gods Grace.
I’ll leave you with a question. What’s holding you back today? Was it some experience in the past that led you to think, “there is no hope for me”? Are you ready? Now is your time! God isn’t mad at you for stalling or even stopping. He understands that kind of thing more than we will ever know. He’s waiting on you with compassion and wants to restore your life.