We’re moving in two and a half weeks which means that our house is in complete chaos. Our saturdays are spent going through the garage and piling old cans of paint on the driveway to be taken to the dump. There is a mound of clothes in the middle of the family room floor that is to go to goodwill and there are boxes both full and empty around the house, a veritable sea of brown cardboard whichever way you look.
Hubs and the 3 boys worked tirelessly all day to saw apart an old hot tub that hasn’t worked in years. Sawing, pulling apart, piling the chunks into the wheelbarrow and pushing it ’round the side of the house to the trailer that will haul it all away. Load after load to the dump.
I take pictures and plaques off of the garage walls, all memories of Dad’s years of showing off his classic car, and cobwebs circle around my arms and bits of drywall fall down onto my face.
Nothing is in order today. The entire house not in normal working order but, quite honestly, utter chaos. This goes there and that over there. That pile to the dump and those over there to be donated. These boxes are mine and will go in my new space and those over there are yours. We step over rolls of brown paper when we walk through the door and tape and scissors and black sharpies are found in little piles together in each room of the house.
There is work happening here.
Tomorrow, in spite of all of this, we will set the dining room table. We will set it with the dishes that we still have left out and the mismatched glasses that have yet to be packed away and we will stop all of this work and we will sit around it and we will marvel. We will marvel that amidst the boxes and bare walls we can sit and enjoy a glorious meal together. It will look oh so lovely and it will taste divine.
It’s a picture of our lives, is it not? That our very lives are a place of work being done. That there is chaos in one corner and clutter in another and we’re cleaning and scraping up these parts over here. If we look deep enough there are boxes of things, packaged, taped, sealed and labeled. There is a box of hurt down there and betrayal right here. There’s one labeled shame and guilt and epic fails. There’s mess and there’s disorganization and nothing ever seems to be just so all of the time. Our heart is sort of like our house right now. A work in progresss. A work that takes sweat and muscle and tears.
Yet, in the midst of disorder and imperfection there are those places of beauty. Those spots that, for the moment, have been shined clean and like our table have been wiped and set and filled with near perfection. These are moments of joy. Moments to be celebrated. Moments to recognize and grab hold of and be ever so thankful for.
It’s easy to look around our house today and think that we will never be finished. To think that there isn’t one spot that is as it should be. It’s easy to be discouraged that though we toiled all day it hardly looks any different then it did yesterday.
So it is with life. I look and I see all of the ways I go wrong. All of the places that need work and prayer and change.
But when we stop and we sit at that table and we eat together and we celebrate, we will celebrate that this is who we are. We are a broken people, people who are in constant states of progress and change and being brought closer to the end, glory, perfection. And we’ll celebrate that we need not continue on in despair or hide those boxes labeled shame and guilt but rather rejoice in the one who has covered all that.
Because Jesus didn’t come for a perfect people. He came for the broken. The lost. Those who will never, ever get it just right. In short, you and me. He didn’t come so that we could look shiny and perfect here on this earth, displaying how wonderful and good we are, but rather that we could humbly say that every single day we fail. Every single day we fall short. Every single day there are things we should have done just a little bit differently. But He’s not worried about that. He’s not worried that we have it all together. All in order. No, he knows that our hearts look like our house does right now and yet, when we belong to Him, he looks at us and He sees perfection. He peers in and he doesn’t see the boxes or the piles or the tape. No. He’s not worried about that. He’s much more concerned with drawing us unto himself. Having a relationship with Him. Reconciling us. Sanctifying us.
I can’t imagine that He can look at my life and peer past the chaos and see the perfectly set table. But he can. It’s what the cross accomplished. I was reminded of it over and over today. Reminded that I have so many dusty corners and heaps of junk to clean up but that He’s working at those. Slowly chipping away at the clutter and shining up the tarnish. One day it will be done and I will see Him face to face. What a day that will be!