Beneath The Onion Skin

January 6, 2007
by Julie Bowles

Isaiah 53:5 – But he was pierced for our transgression, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (NIV)

Have you ever really taken the time to look at an onion? It doesn't matter what type of onion: red, yellow, or Spanish. Sometimes, we talk in the church about the onion in reference to our healing and how we are healed as layer after layer is removed.

I was recently preparing a meal that required an onion, and I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to take a closer look at the onion. When I'm running late in meal preparation, the last thing on my mind is to slow down and look at something. This was how it was with me, so I knew the prompting had come from the Holy Spirit. So I did what He asked me, and this is what was revealed to me:

The outside of the onion is wrapped in a brown skin, curled at the edges, and very thin and delicate to the touch. In fact, pieces fell into my hand as I handled it.

Our own skin is very much like that. We bruise easily to the touch. Our skin curls at the edges if we get too much sun, and we peel. Our skin also gradually falls off us and is replaced with new skin.

Back to the onion, once this brown skin was removed, I saw a layer that was white, with a bit of green and traces of the brown still there. This layer was thicker. The next layer was even thicker and whiter, and with each further layer, the onion was whiter and whiter, approaching the centre or the heart of the onion.

Jesus wants to do the same with us. He wants to get beyond our skin and into our heart. He also wants us to go out into the world, and gently peel away the brown, curly, crumbling edges of others' lives. We are to bring hope and light into a hurting and sinful world.

2 Corinthians 4:16 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (NIV)

The next time we see an onion, let's remember the lost and hurting of our world and say a prayer for them, or even take some action to reach out to someone. If we all handled a few onions a week, just think of the impact we could make!

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You for the onions of this world. Help us to be aware of people who need Your touch. We thank You for the healing and peeling away of the layers in our life to reveal our hearts. Help us to show the world Your true heart, the heart of God. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Julie Bowles <julieanni@rogers.com>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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