Monday, March 25, 2013

{day thirty one thru thirty four} at the foot of the cross i lay down the mess...

Nothing threatens to undo me quicker than a mess.

My brain is hardwired to operate more efficiently when things are tidy and neat.  As hard as I try to let it go and not worry about it, once it is piled so high you can barely see straight, let alone think straight, I tend to lose my marbles.  Just ask my husband.

And for the past four days I've wasted a lot of time worrying over the mess.

The mess in the kitchen sink.  The mess in the laundry room.  The mess in Bubby's room.  The mess of potty training.  The mess of rain and mud and pretty new hardwood floors.  The mess of patience and trying to usher four people out the door and to church by 8:30 on a Sunday morning.  The mess of my heart. 
{Good grief, the mess of my heart.}

The visible mess is a whole lot easier to clean up.  

Clorox and paper towels and a little elbow grease do wonders for a messy kitchen and bathrooms.  Swiffer cloths and a broom make new floors look new again.  Diligent timing makes for virtually no mess during the potty training process.  And a little time and concentration help take care of the laundry and Bubby's room. 

But the mess of the heart.  That's an entirely different can of worms.  It's a bit harder to clean up this mess. 

Sure, I can slap on some makeup and a smile and pretend that the inside is as clean as the outside.  But the truth of the matter is, it's not.  It's a lot like shoving everything into the closet and closing the door.  Sure, it looks all nice and neat from the outside.  But open that door, and gracious knows, the junk that falls out. 

Sweet little words made a huge impact on my heart yesterday.

'Oh no, mama.  Harper made mess.'

Spoken after seeing that she had dropped a bit of her snack on her leggings.  Her tone of voice and worried facial expression left a mark on my heart that I won't soon forget.  

Am I showing her that mess is unacceptable?  Am I teaching her to hide her mess and look clean from the outside? 

I pray not. 

This evening as we were making minute cake {that's a post for another day--but thank my mother-in-law for this treat} it spilled over in the microwave.  

And I heard it again.

'Oh no, mama.  Cake made mess.'

But this time, after prayer and reflection, I had a response for my sweet girl.

'That's right, baby.  It did make a mess.  But messes can be cleaned up.  All messes can be cleaned up.'

As we usher in this Easter week, I am brilliantly reminded of the two sides of the Cross.  

On one side, the side that we so often spend our time gazing, is Jesus.  Hanging, bloodied, bruised and beaten.  His blood pours out.  A perfect sacrifice for all the sin of the world.  Past, present and future.  It's a mess.  A beautiful mess of God's mercy.  God withheld the wrath we so rightly deserved.  And instead, placed all that wrath on His Son.  His Son that He could not even look upon because of all of my mess. And offered mercy in place of wrath.

But you can't just cast your gaze on this side of the Cross. 

You must also see the other side.  The empty side.  The clean side.  Where God's grace pours forth.  An undeserved gift of His redeeming love.  No mess.  Just a clean slate.  An empty cross because Jesus lives.  Because He lives, I live too.

On the messy side of the Cross, I place my worry over the mess.  I seek forgiveness for the worry and the impatience and intolerance. 

On the clean side of the Cross, I offer up my praise for newness.  For sacrifice.  For life.  For love.  For grace and mercy.  For Jesus.  

For Jesus.

Because of Him, I no longer have to 'clean' up my mess.  Or pretend it's not there.  Instead, I can stand in my mess of a heart {and kitchen} and seek His forgiveness. I can admit with full understanding that I'm nothing but a filthy rag.  No matter how hard I try to clean up.  I'm still a filthy rag.  A mess.  

But that's the reason God sent Jesus.  First to a filthy manger.  And then to a messy Cross.  To set it right once and for all.  This Easter season, I find myself more in love with my Creator than ever before.  

Jesus causes me to come undone, too.   Completely undone.  

God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. 
He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. 
In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, 
entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity 
in order to set it right once and for all. 
Romans 8:3-4 (MSG)

No comments:

Post a Comment