Home » Ewwww! That’s Gross!

Ewwww! That’s Gross!

Having raised three sons and a daughter, I have seen my share of gross. My five grandchildren have given me even more opportunities to experience the “yuck” factor. Despite my experiences, Little did I ever dream that the grossest, most vile thing of all would one day come from my own body.

On a recent trip to Honduras, I left with the usual three or four mosquito bites. Pretty normal for me. About a week later, the one above my left eye was not looking healthy. I thought I had rubbed off the itchy scab so many times it had become infected. Shortly after, I received a call that I needed to return to Honduras. I booked a flight and returned two days later.

Five minutes after I walked into my Honduran house, two people took one look at my forehead and proclaimed their opinion: I had become host to a torsalo in Spanish, otherwise known as—get ready—a botfly. Horrified, I knew exactly the infection they were talking about. A mother fly had bit me and laid her egg in my forehead! I had no other word to describe my condition but GROSS!

I have pictures and even video of what occurred the next day. Despite my love of photography, I am sparing you these gross images. I went to bed that night with my forehead painted in clear finger nail polish, as recommended by my medical student niece. During the night, she found more ideas, including using butter to suffocate the insect, or bacon to tempt it to the surface seeking food.

I forgot to tell you that by now the little sucker had hatched. Yes! Even now, I cringe remembering how it felt having him–now a worm—moving under my skin. He was maybe 3/4″ long and about the size of a pencil lead in circumference. It was on my brow, an area with little tissue covering the bone, allowing us all to track his movements beneath my skin.

The next morning I went to the clinic across the street from my house. The concerned doctor, trying to remove the worm, discovered that the butter had indeed suffocated him. My uninvited guest was now dead. So which was worse? Learning I needed to have an incision on my face to remove the dead worm, or knowing that since the worm had hatched, he had been excreting an enzyme that killed the surrounding tissue. My dead tissue was his source of food.

My kids totally freaked out. My son googled botfly and said, “Mom, I think I just threw up in my mouth!” I know. If the worm was burrowing into my arm or leg, I might not have been quite so terrified, but this foreign body was killing tissue right next to my brain!

The doctor recommended a plastic surgeon perform the procedure. A friend got me an emergency appointment that afternoon in the Honduran Medical Center in Tegucigalpa.

The wonderful surgeon first numbed the tissue (the most painful part), and then began the tedious process of removing the dead worm. Though the worm was small, he had to cut it into three pieces to remove it.

With the worm carcass removed, came the next and most critical step. He had to remove every bit of dead tissue or it would infect the healthy tissue. Bit by bit he worked at removing the dead nasty tissue. Twenty minutes later, the surgeon announced the job finished. I left with a small hole in my forehead and his assurance that it should heal well. I would need to watch it closely for signs of infection.

Now I wonder.

About the vile creature that had lived in me, destroying healthy tissue with no concern for my wellbeing. Creating an environment of dead rotting tissue to live and grow in. Unaware of its presence, I did not know it had begun to destroy me. Without detection, my uninvited guest would have multiplied. Had I ignored the signs, I would have allowed the worm to remain, squirming under my skin.

Likewise, I am thinking about how easy it is for thoughts and habits to enter into me and slowly incubate, just as the egg the fly laid in me. As they begin to grow, they too begin to destroy the surrounding area. If I ignore the symptoms of decay caused by the—let’s call it sin—they will continue to devour my healthy tissue until infection threatens my entire body.

I realize I have to pay attention to what is going on in me. Being aware of foreign invaders is the first step. But, if I then choose to ignore them and pretend I’m ok, the ugly will not go away. I will allow the decay to grow.

Look at an influence in your life you thought was mostly harmless. Have you ignored it? Pretending sin is not present will not stop the damage. Sin takes on a life of its own, growing until it consumes us, changing us into a person filled with greed, anger, hate, and misery. Sin left unchallenged moves us into a place of darkness, threatening to separate us from God.

We need to feed our healthy tissue. We need to fill ourselves with God’s word and be prayerful that He will heal the decayed places in us. We need to ask God to protect us from what He sees deep in us, that we might be unaware is harming us.

Psalm 139:1-2, 23-24 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Look for anything offensive in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Just as I chose a specialist to remove the botfly from my head, I choose God–the greatest physician–to remove that which would keep me from being pure to Him. I don’t listen to anyone who assures me not to worry, it isn’t a threat, because everyone has decay in their life. This only gives me a false hope of being healed. I want to be healed and purified by the greatest of Healers.

I don’t always know when something is going on inside me, but God does. Part of my prayer life revolves around asking Him to remove what is not pleasing to Him.

As gross and nasty as the botfly burrowed in my head, I fear even more the potential of sin to grow unnoticed, deep in me, and creating decay. I fear the rottenness.

I rejoice in having a personal relationship with the great Physician.
“Search me Lord and know my heart.”

It is easy for me to ignore the alarming fact that I sin. It does exist in me. Jesus did not walk up to the cross and nail his hands and feet to it. Because of our sinful human nature, and because of His incredible love for us and desire for us to be purified, He allowed Himself to be put on that cross by the vilest, grossest sin we each carry inside of us.

I Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

He was taken down from the cross only after He gave His life that horrible day. He was placed in a tomb, and three days later, appeared on a lonely road to His followers, leaving the tomb empty.

tomb on the side of the road near Damascus, Jerusalem May 2012

tomb on the side of the road near Damascus, Israel May 2012

His act purified us from the ugliness we carry in us. Just as the plastic surgeon removed the vile decayed tissue and the dead worm itself, Jesus is willing to take all our vileness from us and purify us. Purified, I am able to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Free from sin and death, decay and rotten vileness, I can sit at His feet, a new creature.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

God’s word is full of His love over and over again. I can never begin to explain how amazing it is to be pursued by Him, loved by Him, and to be filled with His spirit every day.

As I write this, the hole in my head is healing nicely after three weeks have passed and I believe I will be spared any complications. I am grateful for my friend who quickly got me in to see the doctor. I could not wait to get that nasty thing out of me.

Spiritually, I want to be that friend who gets you into an emergency appointment because you want to be whole and healthy. Never before these last few months have I felt such an urgency to share the God – my God – who loves me so deeply. Being a part of God’s family is powerful and the source of my strength.

1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Lord, please direct this post to the hearts of the precious ones you are pursuing. Please God, use my words to reach a part of them that is decaying. Let them see there is a great physician who can heal from within. Help them recognize there is a God who loves them like no person on this earth can. Thank You, Lord, for sending Your precious son to die for our sins and make it possible for us to come to heaven at our appointed time. Much love and Amen!


Please take some additional time and read the following scriptures. They confirm and reaffirm once again God’s desire for us to be His. It is your choice – your free will. Use that today to glorify Him!

2 Peter 1:2-11 Colossians 3

Have a truly, blessed and awesome day!

One Response to “Ewwww! That’s Gross!”

  1. lynne C. martin says:

    You are amazing…this is so good and so true… glad you are healing, thanks for giving me something else to worry about in Hondo…lol just kidding, see you in february:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *