Friday, December 21, 2012

Messy Day Blues

Photo by Kate Ware
My merry maids, Miss Crock Pot and Miss Bread Machine, are fed and at work by 7:00. The house cleaning is done by 8:00. I am dancing to Christmas music as I pull a steaming gingerbread from the oven.

I start sorting extra laundry from my house guests until several piles lay across my laundry room floor. As Miss Washer begins sloshing dirty clothes, I scoop up my stack of study notes and spread them across the desk.

The computer is frozen. I need to get my lesson prepared to teach at the prison Christmas Eve. The phone beeps with texts, some important. I read them as I grab note pad and pen to study the old fashioned way. The washer stops and I go to the laundry room to process loads of clothes.  The clothes dryer will not work. I begin hanging soggy clothes around the room and start another load in the washer.

The to-do list is extra long today because of chores neglected while making chicken soup and sick calls during the last week. I know when to say "no" quite easily, but sometimes, life gets busy anyway.

A glance at the clock on the piano reminds me that my piano students will start arriving early afternoon. I probably shouldn't still smell like Lysol. The phone rings and I take a deep breath. A friend needs some encouragement.

My flesh woman (I call her Mabel) begins to wilt with fatigue, starts playing around with pride.  It's been only a few hours since I enjoyed reading Philippians and got my day started with a run that cleared my head and centered me on prayerful purpose. My life is good. But prideful, selfish Mabel rises again and has to be denied. The truth is, I don't like messy. I hate messy.  Messy makes me cranky.

I pour a cup of French  Roast, pick up my Bible and sit down by the fire. I think about Jesus and how He loves me. Away from the fray, I immediately calm and begin to refresh.  Messy makes me cranky, but loving messy people who live messy lives brings contentment.

In her blog post, "Her Row Was the Messiest", Lindsey McGuire writes, "When we love people, their mess becomes our mess. Their broken heart becomes our broken heart...Jesus loved like that.  He was often interrupted for healing, stopped on His way with questions, kept overnight with unexpected dinner invitations, and criticized for spending time with messy people like us."

I can't wash the clothes and bedding for Jesus so He begins the day refreshed.  I can't make Him chicken soup and rolls when He is sick. I can't encourage Jesus on Christmas Eve, but when I do it for the least of those in the prison, I do it for Him.  I do it with Him.

I am smiling again as I finish my coffee. Gratitude trumps discontentment every time. I am called to love people to Jesus, to love people with Jesus. As I head back to the laundry room, I hear a knock on the door.

Katherynn, a little girl I love more than life itself, bangs the door open and calls, "Good Morning! Can I help you work? And can we read some books first?"

I laugh when I look at her, little face smeared with apple butter, pants on backwards, shoes on the wrong feet and tangled hair in her eyes.

"Let's clean you up a bit first. You're a mess," I tell her. "I love that about you."

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