Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spring Cleaning

A while back... I got a little sticky note like this...

This sticky note would probably be found clipped to the soap or shampoo in the shower. It leads me to this passage from Hebrew 9:22: In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The first thought that comes to mind is simple: If I were to clean my bathroom with blood it would create more of a mess, am I right? Just picture it, it’s towards the end of the week, Isaac is in bed and Andrew is playing the Wii. It is in these moment that I take time for myself. I love to clean, it kind of relaxes me in a strange way.

So I head up to the bathroom and under the sink is my carefully organized cleaning caddy. Complete with everything I should need to clean the bathroom in one fowl swoop. There are sparkling white rags, paper towels, Windex, Soft Scrub, Scrubbing Bubbles, my beloved Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet wand, Swiffer Dusters, Dusting Spray, Dusting clothes and finally, a toothbrush, just in case something needs more attention than normal.

I always start with the sinks. Because my husband is in love with the electric razor and I am a woman, we tend to have little bits of hair on the counters and if you ever just get right to it with a little water and a rag, you will notice that all you do is smear the hair all over the place, so a quick dust with the Swiffer Duster and we are in business. Then we move onto a little Soft Scrub, a nice bright white cleaning rag and some warm water and we are off, ready to rock and roll. In no time at all, the sinks are done, the counter top is sparkling and we are ready to move onto the bathtub, then the toilet and finally we finish the grand project with a little Windex on the mirrors, a mop and a bucket of soap and water for the floor and it is like a brand new bathroom. I can do it all in an hour tops.

It makes me happy just thinking about it, it makes me want to run home, right now in the middle of the day and give it some quick love. Now, I love anything that is freshly clean, soft tenderly warm right out of the dryer clean bed sheets, soft fluffy clean towels or even a clean pair of socks, it just feels right. As long as I have clean socks and underwear, I swear I could go for a few days in the wild… Clean means something to me, it speaks to me, it makes my heart at peace. It sparks something so deep within my soul that I want to obtain that feeling over and over again, hence me getting a little stressed when too much time has gone by between house cleaning weekends.

But if the law requires everything to be cleansed with blood, the results would be different. It would be a messier process, it would take longer to get the white tub white again, my fluffy towels or beloved bath robe would get a stain or two and the process would not be a meticulously planned and executed routine as outline above with great attention to detail If you don’t know by now, some might say I am a little OCD.

The “cleaning by blood process” would be hard work. Lots of frustration, lots of washing and re-washing. Lots of sparkling white cleaning rags would be ruined and I would at some point, want to stop washing and re-washing and just kick the wall out, exposing the bathroom to the world, bring in the hose and turn the water on. I would watch the blood stained water run down the side of the house and down the street. But then I would be left with a huge hole in the side of our home, which I am sure would not be the intended result. As I was thinking about this “cleaning by blood process” I came across another passage, this one from Exekiel 36:32-34. “‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.” Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.’ This passage can be summed up by one little but BIG word: WORK. The resettling of a town, the rebuilding of ruins, cultivating desolate land, all of which sounds like a lot of work. But we must not over look the promise at the end. “I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.” It could not be more simply put.

Now comes the part where I need to apply the scripture to me and the love note I received…
It is time to clean house, be washed in the blood, hang it all out there for Him to see, rebuild ones brokenness, cultivate desolate dreams and resettle the inner soul. But yet, cling to the promise the work will be done, the rebuilding and restoring will happen and it will be a success. Never the less, it still sounds like a lot of work, am I right? Sometimes I believe the sticky notes the Abba leaves me are not always warm, fuzzy, romantic ones. There are some that require work, and some that speak the truth I don’t want to hear, however, all of them bring me to Him, my Abba. They all have the same author penning them, they all are personally written for me and only me at the very time I need them. They are hand picked messages from the King to his Daughter. And I would want nothing more.

So, exactly what areas need cleaning? Everything. Just like every part of the bathroom needs attention and requires different cleaning supplies, every part of me requires extensive attention to detail and often times, several different “supplies”. The supplies can be people He has brought into my life to help dig out my dirt, or passages of scripture He has placed on my heart to help in the restoration process or dare I say it a conversation with my husband that challenges my wisdom and knowledge of His good word. All of the supplies have one thing in common, they are centered around Him, can be support by Scripture and are sometimes hard to hear. The personal process takes longer than the bathroom process, but the result is the same. Once deeply cleaned, the bathroom is like new, rebuilt with organized towels stacked neatly in the linen closet, cultivated, alive, restored with by the fresh aroma of lemon Soft Scrub and clean air, the items on the counter top are resettled, put back in place and life is good. Well, the same goes for me; my heart is rebuilt, my mind is cultivated with a renewed wisdom and my focus is resettled. But the journey; well it was hard, it took a lot of washing and re-washing, at one point I drug Him right in and watched the blood run right over me, covering me from head to two, it was bloody, I am blood stained, yet I walk away completely clean.

Praises Be Unto you Sweet Abba. I love you, you leave me breathless. Wash me clean, stretch me daily, challenge me, renew me and refine me. May all the glory be yours. Amen

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