I have visitors coming to the house today. Yesterday, hubby and I cleaned up the eyesore of the enclosed porch. Today I baked (yes, baked!) and began to clean up the kitchen so it looked like I hadn't been in it. Why do we do that, anyway? It is obvious that I worked in the kitchen by the amount of food prepared. Why should only the final effort be displayed? The answer of course is somewhere between the mess in the sink and the end product speaking volumes (especially if the food isn't great!). I ran the vacuum around the lived in areas. I dusted (ugh) and rearranged books. The house looked pretty good, if I do say so myself. But then I went into the dining room and BAM, just like that, I was no longer feeling so great. You see, we have a beige carpet in there. Beige... in the dining room...what were we thinking? Every drip, spill, or ground in cookie crumb shows. And no matter how much "spot lifter" or even home remedies we try, it is still horribly stained. So what to do, what to do?
Sometimes I think this is how my efforts must seem to God when I go to church on Sunday and profess my faith. Every Sunday I wear nice clothes. I fix my bird's nest hair to some semblance of order (or slap on a hat if that doesn't work). I put new batteries in my hearing aids and polish up the glasses. But then on the way home with this nice, sparkly, shined up exterior, someone does something I think is stupid like cuts in front of me or takes too long driving down the street or a hundred and one other things. And my temper seeps out and my bad mouthing won't be quiet. And I'm right back to Monday through Friday behavior again! The stain of my sinfulness is still there. I'm almost always sorry for these reactions right away. And I ask God to forgive me these bursts of uncharitable thoughts (and even suggestions!). And because God's grace is so overwhelming and covers all bases, I know that I am forgiven today. I don't have to be perfect or even lovable all the time. That's what being human is all about. And God loves me. I don't know why sometimes; this sinful nature in my soul seems bigger than the good clean parts some days. But I do know that God loves me no matter what. And I have to believe that, because that's what Jesus came to tell us. And I've seen evidence of this HUGE grace filled love our God has for us.
What did I do about the stain in the living room carpet? I put a chair over it and you can't see it unless you're looking around at floor level. I covered it. Like God's grace covers me. Thank goodness!