July 19, 2010
I am a beautiful mess.
My days look mostly like disorganized bursts of frustration and compassion. I do too much of some things and not nearly enough of the others. I go grocery shopping, only to come home and immediately make a list of five more things I need to get at the store.
Sometimes I feel like my heart is a teenager's bedroom.
Layers upon layers of mess. A mess so devastating that the thought of cleaning it is more overwhelming than the thought of putting the whole house up for sale. I overwhelm myself. All the time. There are ALWAYS so many things I want to change about me, so many things I want to improve upon...
...like cooking. I LOATHE it. It makes me want to break things.
...like patience. If I have any, it's only knee high to a grasshopper.
...like contentment. I've only had a couple of short seasons of it in my life. And that's just ridiculous.
But where does the 'beautiful' part of all this wreckage come in? How can I say that I am a beautiful mess? This mess sure as heck doesn't look very beautiful in the day-to-day. It looks like missed appointments and angry words shot at children who are still just trying to figure it all out. Children who are not adults and should not be expected to act like it.
The beauty of all this oppressive mess gushes in at the very moment that I stop trying to clean it up. At the very moment that I put down my rag and my bottle of 409, it suddenly becomes... redeemable.
I am a mess, it's true. But I was never meant to be my own maid. I can NOT reach the end of the grime. By the time one spot is cleaned, another has built up.
But the very moment that I let go of the stress and anxiety that chases me like a bloodhound, the one that is right on my heels at all times barking, "You'll never be enough!", I become aware that this mess is a megaphone. It is destined to tell of great things.
I am worthless without the grace of God. I am a pile of dirty clothes in the corner. Yet He patiently (oh so patiently!) picks me up, piece by piece, and restores me. He launders me. He hangs me back up in a place of honor and he steam cleans every wrinkle from my form.
I do none of the work. He does it all. I hang limp. The before & after shots... split screened like they do on HGTV... THAT is where the beauty is. Because, if the room had ALWAYS been clean and exquisite, the beauty would be less gut-wrenching! Less real! It would just be... sterile... and somehow beside the point. These hearts of ours long to see transformation, because it speaks to a shared condition. This is why we stay up way too late watching infomercials. We long to be WOWED by the change! We want to see the small things become great! We want to see the weak things trump the strong! We want to see the underdog win!
I am an underdog. Broken, weak, wrinkled, disheveled.
But somehow, right in that disheveledness is my glory. Because I am being transformed... slowly... and my ultimate triumph will not be the result of MY hands, but entirely of God's. The before & after will be stunning, and ALL the credits that roll after the film will be Him.
Him, Him, HIM.
at 10:19 PM