On a recent winter morning, I had an unusual burst of domestic verve. After my customary two cups of coffee, I got busy picking up the house, loading laundry into the machine, brushing a swirl of blue cleaner in toilets and spraying all the surfaces in the kitchen with antibacterial liquid. What was that sticky stuff behind the toaster?
I have to say, I was in the zone. I hadn’t even put on clothes. My old robe and slippers were just fine for this day at home. Admittedly, I should have tossed the robe in to the washer with one of the loads. It was marked with coffee drips and and a rather large yellow egg stain. (My nick-name should be Spot.) I had to laugh when I looked into the bathroom mirror while cleaning and saw several clumps of my short hair standing at wacky angles.
I was deep into scouring, even gloved in yellow rubber, when the doorbell rang. Of course, I wasn’t going to open the door looking like that! What I did do was peek out of the front bedroom window to see who it was. I didn’t recognize the car, but I am oblivious to what my friends drive, so that didn’t help. I strained a bit more and saw the visitor staring at the door. My pulse quickened. It was a dear friend I hadn’t seen in over a year. But, how could I open the door like this? I was barely presentable for the dog, let alone my good friend. It was clear I needed to change first.I ran to the bedroom and changed into jeans and a shirt. I stuck my hairbrush under the faucet and quickly tried to tame the mane. Heading back to the door, I pinched my cheeks remembering that’s how they created color in prairie days. This will have to do, I thought.
I swung open the door to see the car heading out of the neighborhood.
A note hung from the door knocker.
Wendie, I’m so sorry I didn’t get to visit with you.
I’d looked forward to it. Maybe next time.
I missed it. I was too concerned with looking presentable for my friend. How foolish. If I had opened the door I’m sure I would have been greeted with a smile. We would have spent good time together. But, because I was vain, because my pride took over, I missed it.
Do I miss answering the door to Jesus because I think I have to be “presentable” before I can let him in? Doesn’t Jesus who sees all things and knows our thoughts even before we do want to see that doorknob turn? Even if I put on my finest formal gown, had my hair and makeup done and teeth whitened, I’d still be lacking. I might look pretty in the mirror, but Samuel 16:7 tells me that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.
In all of my efforts to clean, did I take time to clean my heart that morning? Perhaps, if I had, my morning would have been filled with assurance instead of trying too hard. I’ve talked with people who think they have to earn Jesus. They feel like until they can check off a list of completed tasks, they aren’t ready. That’s when I remind them of the thief hanging next to Jesus. He didn’t climb down and complete a list. He was guilty... but forgiven because of his faith. There’s only one cleaner I need and that’s the blood Jesus gave on the cross.
Remove my sin and make me pure. Wash me until I am whiter than snow! (Psalm 51:7 ERV)
Listen. Was that the doorbell?