Sunday, February 8, 2009


I like to think that my home is clean. I dust and vacuum, windex and scrub freqeuntly. Now that I'm working full-time I even have someone helping me keep the house as clean as possible. It's not that I WANT to clean. It's really more of a compulsion.

Maybe I've watched one too many of those 20/20 specials where they go through a room with a blacklight and expose all the nastiness. Don't even get me started on hotel rooms. I'll save my germaphobia for another post. Suffice to say, it's rather remarkable that I leave my house at all.

Anyway. If I catch sight of a wayward dustball or offending smudge it is hard for me to concentrate on anything else until I get rid of it. Sometimes it's even hard to sleep. It's not unusual to find me vacuumming at midnight or 6:00 a.m. I know. It's an illness.

If I see it, I need to clean it. If I don't see it, I'm ok. This is one of the main reason I don't often venture into the "man cave" downstairs or Zak's bedroom.

Inevitably, when I'm beginning to feel assured regarding the condition of my home, the brilliant morning sun shines through the wall of windows in the back of our house. And my smugness bites me in the butt. What's revealed are the places that I've forgotten. Even worse are the areas that I thought I'd cleaned thoroughly that remain smudged and soiled. Dust particles permeate the sun-streaked air taunting me as they land on floors and furniture.

I can work myself into a frenzy trying to clean what the intense sunlight reveals. The task is overwhelming. Mercifully, the sun will soon disappear above the rooftop and with it the light of its harsh scrunity.

And so it is with my life. I can keep myself and my character well-groomed and coiffured. At a glance, my life could at times appear squeaky clean. But in those moments when I get real with myself and allow for introspection under the light of the Son, my life is not nearly as antiseptic. Attitudes and motives, selfishness and laziness, all manifest themselves in the Sonlight. Areas that I've neglected are exposed. Weaknesses that I thought I'd taken care of become apparent.

On my own, I can't clean the mess. My heart finds comfort in claiming God's promise to me that it's not by works but by faith that I am saved. That I'm washed clean. From this gratitude arises a new commitment and resolve to do better. To be better. To live a life that brings honor to the One who saved me.

Simply stated: Jesus -- Mr. Clean for the soul.