Confessions of a Surface Cleaner

Lysol wipes revolutionized my cleaning style when I had two little humans under the age of 3 for whom I was responsible. It’s not that I gave up on cleanliness and order, I just took a long hiatus from the bucket and mop, down-on-your-knees school of cleaning.

My house is orderly, tidy and far from disgusting; I would even go so far as to call it well-kept. However, every once in a while, something exposes its desperate need for a thorough cleaning, you know, the toothbrush-in-the-grout kind of cleaning.

Recently, we sold our bedroom furniture to random strangers via Craigslist. Coming into the sale, I felt like our house was in order; however, upon the removal of our bed and the exposure of dust bunnies beyond measure, I was thoroughly humbled.

Having random people view the sea of dust creatures living underneath our bed was not pleasant, but it set in motion a timely deep cleaning of our bedroom. IMG_3698

As if having the hidden and neglected crevices of our home exposed was not enough, the Lord saw fit to do a similar exposing work in my own soul these past few weeks.

When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant, I was like a beast before You. Psalm 73:21-22.

I am not sure what combination of circumstances and sin occasioned the awakening of the resident beast in my heart (though I am fairly certain that a heat wave, a lack of air conditioning and the continued droning on of a mostly structureless summer had something to do with it); however, I am most certain that said beast decided to rear its ugly head on a consistent basis in the form of impatience with the boys, a quick temper, annoyance at the slightest inconvenience and other such lovelies dredged up from the depths of my heart.

I found myself confessing and apologizing to my boys far more regularly than any of us are accustomed to. Dragging a heavy and beat-up heart into my Sabbath time, I was met with sweet intimacy with the ever-gracious Lord.

Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand, with your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. Psalm 73:23-24. 

In His fatherly way, He reminded me of the exposed dust bunnies beneath our bed. He did not chide me, He simply reminded me that everyone needs a deep cleaning from time to time. He reminded me that my fairly tidy and tended to soul has nooks and crannies that even I cannot see. He has the loving right to rearrange the furniture of my soul, thereby exposing long-neglected spots unseen to everyone but Him.  He is not content with surface cleaned souls, He will have thoroughly cleansed and decluttered children. Such a commitment to thoroughly cleaning my soul speaks of His love and His ownership of me.

While the exposure was not pretty, there is a certain joy that results from a thoroughly scoured heart. I am so very thankful that God goes beyond the Lysol wipes and dives into the dusty crevices of His children’s hearts, scrubbing them thoroughly with His grace. 

Whom have I in Heaven but You, and besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26. 

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