Life is messy…
There was a woman – let’s call her Jane – in her twenties, whose family life is a mystery. Maybe she grew up seeing awful examples and feeling even less love. Or maybe she had a great family that loved her unconditionally and taught her right and wrong but chose to do her own thing. Whatever way it happened, she ended up in the bed of a married man.
The culture was divided about her behavior: some looked down on her; some looked up to her. We can certainly relate to this. There were even some who wanted her killed. Picture this: you’re in the middle of committing a terrible sin when a group of people literally snatch you up and throw you into the street for all to see your shame. Caught…exposed…GUILTY! That’s exactly what happened to Jane. And the crowd was ready (and eager) to kill her. Their high horses stood so tall they couldn’t see their sins were as evil as hers. She lay in the street, barely covered, awaiting her fate. The crowd was screaming for one particular man to agree with them for her demise. But he didn’t agree. Instead, he knelt down beside her in the dirt and paid them no attention. Eventually, the crowd went away. The man then spoke to her, “…Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:10-11, NIV).
Jesus understands our messes.
He knows right from wrong; He knows we know it, too. When we mess up, He gets down in the dirt with us and stays a while. When things finally quiet down, He speaks to us. He renews our life, so we can go on.
God has been doing this – rescuing us from our messes – since the beginning of time. Genesis 1:2 tells us, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…” What did God do then? He spoke…and light overcame darkness; order overcame chaos.
God has a thing for dirt. He formed us from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7); Jesus was born in a barn (Luke 2:7); He has given us His Spirit, and we carry it inside of us – in jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7). We tend to forget this, especially when we feel dirty. When we see ourselves as unclean (when we’re not living as we know we should), we try to run from God. We try to hide. We think our mess is too daunting for Him. But all the while, He longs to sit with us…talk to us…cleanse us from the mess.
We don’t need to pretend that the world isn’t dirty.
People say that ‘life is good.’ Really, only God is good. Life is hard. There are a million ways things can go sideways. We’re affected by our choices, by others’ choices, by our lack of knowledge, by sickness and death, by family and relationships. We don’t need to pretend the mess isn’t there. We don’t need to hide from it. We need to be cleansed of it. And that’s what God does; that’s what He’s been doing since the beginning. Let Him speak…let Him show up…let Him sit in the dirt with us until we can get up again. That’s why He’s the Messiah…He came to save us. And He gets our mess…
– Jamie Clawson