If you have ever broken a bone, or fallen ill with pneumonia, or experienced a painful toothache, you have likely also benefited from the use of an x-ray in your diagnosis. Before the accidental discovery of the x-ray in 1895 by German physicist Dr. Wilhelm Rontgen, surgery was often required to assess a possible broken bone or suspected tumor inside the body—and it was often life-threatening as well.
Not knowing the name of the strange, luminous green lights he had discovered while experimenting with cathode rays, Rontgen called them “x” rays, meaning unknown rays. He soon realized that these unknown rays passed through human tissues as well, leaving the shadow of solid objects.
By 1896, doctors across the sea in America were making use of the x-ray to locate everything from tumors to bullets inside the body. Soon, the fascination with the x-ray abounded. By the 1930’s, even shoe shops offered free x-rays to patrons curious to get look at the bones in their feet.
Eventually, the harm of too much radiation came to light, and the x-ray was used more cautiously. Today, new technology has further limited our exposure to the radiation needed for this initial means of imaging. But the x-ray is still used every day to help diagnose and assess many medical conditions.
Our conscience can be thought of like an x-ray, a searchlight that reveals our motives , exposing what is hidden to God:
A man’s conscience is the Lord’s searchlight, exposing his hidden motives. Proverbs 20:27
You may not always know your own motives; the human heart is deceitful and will fool you! But your conscience is there, shining a light on what is within, revealing the matters of the heart to God. What is it illuminating today?