My sister Judy and I had fun breaking open some black walnuts. We were both young, and it was an adventure as we peeled away the outer husks to find the inner nuts from the walnut tree near the garage.

Little did we know how the oils from the husks were staining our hands! Yes, we noticed the darkening of our palms. But we failed to realize that the black coloration would not wash off. That discovery came as we tried to clean up for dinner that night.

Going to school the next morning with black hands didn’t really bother me.  What grade school boy worries about such things? In truth, I never asked Judy if it bothered her. This grade school boy didn’t worry about that either.

Stained skin always comes clean eventually. What lasted, however, was the lesson that some things leave their mark much longer than others. To this day, I stay away from black walnuts. I’ve learned my lesson.


“Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow;
Though they be red like crimson, they may become white as wool,”
Isaiah 1:18