Friday, July 5, 2013

Cleaning Up the Mess We're In

She has been singing so contently in her bed for over an hour -- I eagerly climb the stairs to surprise her with a "post-rest time adventure."

But as I walk into her room and flip on the light, the scene surprises me.

Belly-down on her sheets, still singing, she lies a pool of her own vomit.  Her bed drenched, outfit stained, and face covered, she looks at me and smiles.  "Hi, mommy," she says sweetly, then continues her melody.  She remains unaware, and unmoved, by the filth that covers her.

My heart breaks. I am not surprised by the mess.  This is normal.  But why wouldn't she call?  Why would she lay there for over an hour without once crying for help?

It is possible to get so accustomed to our own habits that we fail to see the mess we sit in?

I lead her to the filled bath and cry as I wipe away the remains of her lunch.  Her breath reeks of acid and her hair is matted down and she remains unaffected.  Playing happily.

I caress her hair and dress her in clean clothes.  I wipe down the stained walls and remove the soiled blankets, and I am reminded that I too was once this way.

Ephesians 2 says that, without Christ, I was just the walking dead.  Walking, yet unaware that there was no real life within me.  I sat in more than just vomit.  I lay in a gravestone. 

The Bible regularly highlights our propensity to blindness, to self-deception:

There are those who are clean in their own eyes, but are not washed of their filth.
Proverbs 30:12 (ESV)

Unaware. Unmoved. Uncaring.  Unaffected. 

But God.

Merciful God.  He sees us in our filth and He intervenes.  He vows to bring us out of it, even while we are content and unaware.  He makes us alive. 

And now, even now -- alive in Christ! -- I can turn a blind eye to my sin.  I can ignore my habits, excuse my pride, brush off my self-absorption, forget my idolatry.   But God, my Faithful Father, has committed Himself to my cleanliness.  To my washing.  To my perfection.  And he promises to see it through.

He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 
Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

Then, and still now, I need a Faithful Father who sees my mess and vows to bring me out of it.

And my role as a mother is to see the filth, the mess, the destructive patterns of my children, and intervene.  Show them the filth, then refresh their souls with the gospel.  The better way.  It images a greater Father who has done this for me.

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