By Martin | Friday, September 12, 2014 | 6:00 AM
Life used to be so simple. I could walk into a grocery store or drug store and buy toothpaste and shampoo. Now, at 47, I have discovered I have sensitive teeth, my hair needs restorative nutrients, and my skin needs hydrating emollients. I can't buy simple toothpaste or basic shampoo. I didn't even know I had sensitive teeth. I looked into the mirror one morning and made what I thought was a harmless observation about my teeth being a little yellow. They started crying. I apologized and said I would never mention it again.
I need to use toothpaste with desensitizing agents. Those are agents who just don't give a rip about anything or anybody, usually ex-government employees. You can't offend them and they protect your teeth. Desensitizing toothpaste contains potassium nitrate. It is cheaper than the potassium dayrate but it also used to make fireworks. In layman's terms, if I grind my teeth I could blow up. Potassium nitrate is listed as a level 2 hazardous material. I am not brushing my teeth with anything that has to be removed from the house in a Hazmat truck, although they would know our location because of that one bizarre fish taco incident.
Buying shampoo is worse. I am woefully lacking in the latest shampoo technology. There are now shampoo terms like volumizing lift, intensive reconstructor, exfoliating lubricants, and sculpting putty. With those ingredients I could build a treehouse. There are things called botanicals to help relax the curl. My curl has relaxed into oblivion. Some shampoos contain emu oil which is known as a follicle awakener. I don't need my follicles awakened. My follicles are not asleep. I need them raised from the dead. My needs are basic, a shampoo that will locate my hair and clean it.
I didn't know it but I could have an inflamed scalp. That does not sound good but it does not concern me. Shoot, I'm happy just to find a working hair. There are other problems. My skin needs hydrating emollients. I have thought that for years. Emollients help soften the skin and protect it from dryness. They come from mineral, vegetable, or animal extracts. Great. That's all I need. Animal extract. I think I will just keep my hair and skin the way they are. I don't want to use any beauty aid where there is even a hint of muskrat squeezings.
I won't be changing the way I take care of my teeth, hair, or skin. However, I may change the way I take care of the people around me. Webster's dictionary defines emollient as "something that has a soothing or softening effect." I wonder sometimes if we as Christians don't need to take a look at ourselves and see if there is anything we can do to change the way we interact with people. Have we become desensitized to the needs and hurts of those around us? Do we have a soothing or softening effect on our friends and family when they are in crisis?
Just like there are products that work on our physical appearance there are some things we can do to improve our spiritual condition. Do you need to be refreshed? Do you need a spiritual volumizing lift or an emotional reconstructor? Try Galatians 5:22 and work on your love, patience, gentleness, kindness, etc. toward others. Life seems to go better when we use the right application in the right area. Each one is a great fruit of the Spirit . . . and a pretty effective emollient for soothing the hurts and pains of others. It will also leave you with a refreshing shine that can't be purchased in a store.