Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
“Oh man, you have GOT to be kidding me!”
That’s what I exclaimed this past week while standing in my home’s laundry area and pulling my clothes out of the washer, and discovering, yet again, that a rogue tissue had gotten all over everything. I mean allllllll over.
This is a pet peeve of mine, as I really do try to be vigilante about checking all of the pockets and nooks and crannies of all of my clothing before washing them. I zip and unzip. I turn inside out and then right-side in. I look inside all the pockets. And then I do it all again. Well, usually.
But once again, I had missed something. Somewhere lurking in a coin pocket, in the fold of a pleat or a sleeve, in the recesses of a pair of jeans, there was a tissue. Ugh. Not again!
There’s no escaping a tissue coming out and being exposed and disrupting the rest of the load of laundry. It always, always happens when I’ve missed it. It’s impossible for it to stay hidden when the water loosens everything and anything that’s caused it to be stuck. The cleansing process definitely does its job in bringing out the tissues in my loads of laundry.
As I stood there, grumbling to myself and picking off all of the white residue from all of my clothing before I could throw the items into the dryer, I couldn’t help but think about the very obvious parallel: my sin. Because that’s how it works.
Like any other Christian trying to walk the straight and narrow, you think you’re being vigilante about examining your heart. Oh, I’m good. I know what my sin issues are. I’m on top of it. You think you’re confessing what you need to confess and submitting all of your life to God. Yeah, I’m working through this area of my life and God’s helping me in this other area. But just these two areas. That’s pretty much where I’m at right now. But then WHAMMY! You get blindsided by a sin you didn’t even know was there or one that was so well hidden in your life that you couldn’t even see it. Or maybe you just didn’t want to see it. Kind of like putting a painting in front of a hole in the wall in your living room or scooting a sofa over an ugly stain on your carpet. Right?
One of my favorite sayings related to sin is this: “We are blind to our blindness.” Because it’s so true. We can’t see everything in our lives that God can. We have no clue about everything that is littering our lives with ugliness.
So as we go about our day—or our laundry—today, let’s take our cue from David, who so honestly and humbly prayed in Psalms 51:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. … Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
As you’re checking for those rogue tissues in your laundry this week, remember that the Father lovingly checks his children when we submit to him and come into his presence in humility and in confession.
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