The dirty side of being clean

Last week we received our cloth diapers in the mail and they are just so darn cute! They are soft and washed and clean and ready to be put on our baby’s bottom hopefully within the next week, and I was thinking how it was just too bad that these pristine little diapers would soon be filled with some nasty messes! This spurred me on to look at all the other things in our home that are just waiting for a baby to arrive, evidence that there will be a little one living here soon.

There are washed bottles taking up our cupboard space.

There is all natural baby shampoo in our shower, never opened or used (except by me to smell it once in awhile because it has such a yummy scent!)

There is a small Rubbermaid bin in the baby’s dresser that is full of pacifiers that are completely new and sanitized.

There is a closet full of seriously the most adorable little pink and yellow and green and purple outfits, all brand-new.

There are receiving blankets and burp clothes and bibs that are so soft and cuddly and sweet-looking.

All washed in baby-safe detergent.

All smelling wonderful.

All free of drool and spit up and poop.

All clean.

All unused.

And while I love all of these items and I love that they are so clean and unsoiled, if they were to remain that way permanently that would be a sad, sad thing because that would mean that our baby wasn’t here with us.

How much more beautiful will it be to have dirty diapers and drooled-on bibs and half-empty bottles of baby shampoo; because that will mean we have a REAL, LIVING BABY.

So often I feel like my faith is a little bit like these unused baby items. God gives us so many spiritual gifts that remain on the shelf or hanging in the closet.
They are prepared for use. They look beautiful. They are clean. But they are unused. And for that they are not really fulfilling any sort of purpose, and that can mean that I am lacking a REAL, LIVING, FAITH.

This morning I realized that I was starting to get a little anxious/upset about something on the way to church (I honestly for the life of me can’t even remember what it was now!). There are so many ways to feel like a failure in life and work. There are so many reasons to be worried about my family and about money. There are so many things that will come into my day that can cause me to experience anger and frustration and irritibility and pain. And so often I ignore the gifts that God has given me and am brought down by these various troubles and temptations.

I forget about God’s love and leave it hanging in the closet.

I fail to take advantage of God’s word and let it sit in my kitchen cupboard.

I underestimate the power of God’s renewal and keep it sitting in the laundry basket.

And so all of these good gifts that God gives so abundantly go abandoned. Unsoiled by life’s messiness. They stay pristine and new and I am comforted to know that I have them available, but sometimes that is the extent of it.

This happens all too often I think among Christians. For some reason we like to talk about how there is grace and love and peace through Jesus but I wonder how often we actually allow these things to transform us. In my own life I sadly feel like these things are too clean, that they haven’t been used enough.

This morning however was not one of those times! As I entered church I remembered God’s love and was able to just abide in that. I remembered God’s word and was filled with peace after reading a particular verse in 2 Corinthians. I took God’s wonderful spiritual blessings off of the shelf and dirtied them up a bit!

And God, being rich in love and mercy, will have them laundered and ready for my use again tomorrow morning.

Ephesians 1
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.


One thought on “The dirty side of being clean

  1. judy gates

    You talked about having gifts we really don’t use or take off the shelf. And for many who are comfortable in their lives, untouched by heartache or trial, they never read those verses or chapters.They never have tested the promises of God. I am thankful this week, that while we were all anxious and worried, many have been reminded or only now came to understand whose arms we are in, whose name we can call, whose promises are solid and who is ever present in our times of need. I am so thankful for your honesty. Judy


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