“So what are you going to do with your day off?” Matt asked.
“What am I really going to do or what am I thinking I’m going to do?” I replied. “Because what I’m thinking is that I’m going to spend the weekend doing a spring clean of the house.”
That was our Thursday night conversation, and now it’s Saturday afternoon. I’ve actually, in real life, spent the last two days cleaning. My house smells like Pine Sol because I just mopped the bathroom floor. (Could someone please come over and be impressed by my industry?)
We live in a tri-level, so I celebrate by levels. Basement: Done. Upstairs: Three rooms and the hallway done. (Extra points for organizing the linen closet.) Two rooms to go. I’m hoping to tackle the middle level during the week.
While I was cleaning, I listened to this Timothy Keller sermon on How to Change Deeply.
Deep clean is what we want.
A go-ahead-and-run-your-finger-over-the-door-jam kind of clean.
Timothy Keller says we have to know what Christ has done for us. We have to really understand the love and the grace, or we’ll never be able to face how much grime we still have in our lives.
When I was cleaning the basement, I discovered a filthy place that I’ve never noticed and thus have not dusted since we moved in 15 years ago. Fifteen years of dust. I had to go outside to shake out the dust rag and then come back and hit it again. Eeeuuuw.
And we have those kinds of hidden, unclean places in our souls. How can we bear to look at them, to tackle the cleaning of them, unless we have some kind of hope? Unless we’re really, really sure that God is going to love us and help us with our disgusting spots?
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:1-2 (NIV)
This prayer is counter-intuitive. When we have sin and filth in our lives, don’t we want to hide it? Throw it in the closet? Sweep it under the rug? It’s incredible to me that David turns to God, who is pure and holy, and calls attention to his own sin. He calls attention to it! Like, “Hey, could you take a look at this yellow stain I have going on around the base of the toilet?”
But if you want to be a good person, you have to know where to get real help.
David knows God will look at his messed-up places and be stirred to action. He is confident that no matter what disgusting gunk God uncovers, his love will remain constant. He expects to find compassion in abundance. We get a sense that David feels completely safe in bringing his sin to the Lord –not only safe but hopeful.
I wonder what you are doing with your own messy soul? How do you feel about having an honest conversation with God about it?