From Filthy to Flawless
In our flat, we have 2 kitchen windows I loving refer to as my portal windows. They are about a 2.5 ft in diameter. – My little peek outdoors – to check the weather (because one can *never* rely on forecasts here ;), to watch the deer run behind our flat, and to track the transformation of the landscape as the seasons change. I spend much time in the kitchen. When the sun shines, I want to be able to look out and enjoy the view.
I do not recall how they started out, but since we’ve lived here, they’ve become increasingly dirty – fogged up with everything from rain/dirt mix, to bird poo. Not exactly an appealing view. In fact, I began to avoid looking out of them. They desperately needed to be cleaned, but they are somewhat of an engineering feat to open, let alone clean. So I procrastinated the chore.
Today was the day. I decided to tackle the windows.
As I was cleaning, I couldn’t help but think as my transformation to be more Christ-like – or even the process to becoming Christian in the first place.
Here is what I noticed in the process:
1. It wasn’t comfortable to clean. Opening a circular window into a circular window cil does not allow one to open it all the way – there was a lot of maneuvering/stretching to get it clean.
~Cleaning up my life isn’t pretty and isn’t fun. It gets uncomfortable at times, I might get bumps and bruises, but I know in the end, there is much less chaos, more enjoyment.
2. I needed help. When I couldn’t figure out how to open it, I called for reinforcements… my tall hubs used his mobile to take a pic and see how it could be opened further.
~ To see lives transformed, we need both help in our transformation, and to help others who are transforming. We need to lift others up, encourage them, walk with them.
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:13)
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
3. I needed tools to help me accomplish the task. I was not going to clean that window, all the cobwebs/spider webs, bird poo, and dust from the blowing winds/rain without a solvent, towel, and a little elbow grease.
~Where can I *firmly* place my foundation for morality and integrity? – The Bible. It can be overwhelming to think about digging into the Bible, so how can I learn it better? -With additional tools such as Bible studies or other commentaries – found in books, online, etc. They are everywhere, but I am ultimately responsible to use them!
4. I had only planned to clean one – the worst of the two. As I started other tasks, the remaining dirty window really began to bother me. I tried to ignore it (multiple times).. ‘it’s good enough’, I thought ‘that one isn’t that bad’.
You see, the one I cleaned made the other, lesser-dirty one stand out as more and more filthy.
It didn’t just appear ‘okay’ anymore.. It bothered me until I cleaned it.
~ It isn’t possible in our walk, or becoming Christian in the first place, to go in ½ way. I used to share with my sweet high school girls that when I first accepted Christ, I tried to maintain the ‘Captain of my life’ position.. when I wanted it. Fact is, I tried to live one foot in the world and one foot in Christ. Christ doesn’t want a part of us.. he wants all of us. When we accept Christ, if we *truly* allow his Holy Spirit in, we will begin to notice, more glaringly, the parts of our lives that need an overhaul. We can no longer ‘compare’ to another life. We now have a standard. A crystal clear, beautiful standard by which we can compare – Truth. If you’re like me, I pray you have the courage to go in all the way – keep cleaning (and re-cleaning – dust collects!).
The view is *so* much better when things are cleaned up. Peaceful, in fact.
Here are a few sites that have helped me along – answering my questions, and helping me learn more about how to answer questions for others…
Stand To Reason
Answers In Genesis
Proverbs 31 Ministries
My Heart – Christ’s Home by Robert Boyd Munger – Dear friends shared this with us at Sprout’s Dedication. In hindsight, it’s right up the alley of this post! Highly recommend it for the analogies used!
And a few of blogs of friends who bring encouragement and inspirations
Dear Lord, Thank you for allowing me to continue to seek your face with a desire to be more like you. Thank you for providing me your Word, your Truth in the form of the Bible to help guide and grow me. Please continue to transform my heart and thus, my life to reflect your love and truth ever more clearly to others. In the name of the One who walked Flawlessly, Jesus Christ, Amen.
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. …Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. (James 4: 7-8 & 10).
Scripture as retrieved from 1984 NIV at http://www.biblegateway.com/.
Scripture (James) as retrieved from NLT at http://www.biblegateway.com/.