the bottomline

"Skin, it's the thing that's in"
Saturday, March 13, 2021 by Dan Allen

“You gotta have skin / All you really need is skin.” So begins a silly song I remember from my college days. One of the musicians played and sang this. I thought he was making it up. Not the case. It’s a real, bona fide song. Skin “it covers your nose and it’s wrapped around your toes.”

I, obviously, have skin and it seems to grown on me. It started forming when I was in my mother’s womb and continued to develop as a baby and turning into a toddler. More skin was produced through my childhood years and into my 6' 3" frame as a teen. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop growing as I grew out, not up. Retreating from that helps to shrink the skin a little, but I still have plenty. Not more or less than what I need. And then there are the warts, skin tags, and moles, not to mention the wrinkles that have now formed. “When you’re sitting down, it folds and looks grand / And then when you stand, it’s where it’s been” . . . well, not always.

Skin is the largest organ of the body. It, and its derivatives—hair, nails, sweat and oil glands—are all doing their job very nicely with the goal to keep your innards in. It’s a barrier of protection for what’s inside as well as from enemies such as microbes that would attack from the outside. “Skin is what ya feel at home in / and without it, furthermore / both your liver and abdomen / would keep falling on the floor.”

Skin flakes fall off the surface on average of 30,000 to 40,000 dead cells every minute of each day. Fortunately, new cells are formed at the bottom of the epidermis and work their way up. So, you continue to replenish what you’ve lost. And here’s another obvious, but maybe not realized fact—it comes in different thicknesses. Underneath the eyes, your skin is paper thin. Not the case in the palms of the hand or on the feet. I’m always amazed how my friends in South Asia can walk around barefoot even on stony ground. The skin on their feet must be very thick.

I was interested to learn, (in fact, all of this came from a quick search on the internet), that the pigment which gives the color of skin is determined by cells that produce melanin. Suntans and freckles come from this melanin as well. “All your friends and all your kinfolks / whether poor or whether rich / they have all got lots of skin, folks.” 

Indeed this is true. In fact, the only physical difference between me and a person of color is the amount of melanosomes. Dark-skinned people have more melanin in their skin than light-skinned people have. That’s it. There’s just one race—the human race—and we all have skin. “It fits perfectly / yours fits you, and mine fits me.”

God’s creation is just unbelievable. All the different parts He created fit perfectly together. And He created us in His image so that we would bring glory and honor to Him. 

Some of that skin is sagging these days, but it’s still performing its duty just as He designed it. “So whether you're fat, tall, big, small, chubby or thin / Ain't ya glad you've got skin!”


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