Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sin and white walls

Uncountable times a day I am going up and down my stairs. Since my stairwell is well-lit, I notice so many imperfections on the wall--namely dirty marks about the size of my children lining the walls. I noticed my little boy today, walking up the stairs, hand-on-wall every step. So that's where it comes from. I thought to myself.

I've scrubbed them a few times, but each time it seems to get more dingy. A fresh coat of paint would do the trick, but that's a huge job in itself. Anyway, in my house, it's not expected to stay clean that long.

I've tried to embrace the marks, embrace them by saying this is a houseful of children, this is expected. This warms my heart, but that little bit of perfectionist in me sometimes wants to walk down the stairs every day, looking at freshly painted walls. Do I sound crazy here? Am I the only one?

We all yearn for that cleanliness in our lives. I was reading some non-Christian blogs....resolutions that people have made. Be a better person in 2008!....that was so sad and empty to me. How does that work? When you don't have God, how do you become a better person? It just seems to me like wiping the walls...again and again. Only to show... dinginess. Believe me, I've been there. It's hopeless.

Thankfully, our Saviour paid the price. Now don't read over that sentence. Yeah, yeah, He paid the price. I'm thankful. He did. And I'm in awe. And I'm still a sinner. Though my robe may be white, the blackened fingers of sin leave smudges on it.* I fail. Spurgeon says "Every night that we look in the mirror, we see a sinner and we need to confess, "We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6). As a Christian, we must not lose sight of this. This is a major component of our faith. But, as Christians, with Jesus, we are not without hope. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.

And so, even though my walls may not be completely white on this earth, I can be assured that in a little while, I will enter into the city where nothing defiles. Sin does not have dominion. Hallelujah!

*Spurgeon's saying


Betty Dickerson said...

Hi Andrea,

That's funny, this past week I noticed our walls too. The more I tried to clean them, the more I spread the grime! Right now I'm trying to not look or notice, but it's hard!

I do thank God for heaven. No more sweat, sin, dirt, and calories. Just praising and doing everything out of a heart of undefiled worship. That's worth waiting for!


Sara said...

Oh, I am so this way. I do the same thing in the RV. I see every little imperfection, every scuff...every mark.

I am so thankful for new mercies each morning. A fresh coat of white "paint" covers me as I stand before Him in the throne room.

I was reminded of the song we sang in church this Sunday during communion:

Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin hath left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

The old hymns ring SO TRUE.
Wonderful post my friend...your words touched my soul :)

Beck said...

A friend of mine just shrugged and put in a busy floral wallpaper on the bottom half of her stairwell. Dirty fingerprint problem: solved! Or at least hidden...

Terry said...

How wonderfully said! And desperately needed. I know that sometimes, even as a Christian I find myself forgetting that my robe will not be pure white this side of heaven. Yes, I often fight the guilt and condemnation battle. But I'm so thankful that His mercies are new every morning, because it's just noon and I've probably already used up my share for today. Thanks Andrea. In case you can't tell, I really needed to read this one!

Elise said...

This...It just seems to me like wiping the walls...again and again. Only to show... dinginess. So powerful, and so true. Such a picture of the heart-place! I love how you drew the correlation here, and I am renewed.
Thank God He knows that we don't stay clean for long- or at all. And he embraces us, marks and all. In spite of them, because of them.
This seems like a devotional to me... ;)

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Be a better person--I know. How hard is that?? I have the spirit of the living God in me, and I can barely feel as if I am getting "better."

I was studying Matthew--about watching your words and how we're accountable. How can I do that?? Later the verse was "from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." My heart is good, so I have to trust that I (or He) can get control of my words.

L.L. Barkat said...

Great analogy. Makes me think of that Max and Ruby book where he takes a bath only to turn himself all manner of colors, etc. Only Ruby, giving him a shower, makes him clean.

Goodlikeamedicine said...

Great thoughts, Andrea.

And thanks to you, now I will have something very wonderful to think about every time I walk down my stairs and see the marks!!

See, it's not for nothing!

AIMEE said...

I am weary of trying to clean off the dinginess in my own life through works...I hate it when I fall back into that trap. It's sneaky. I need a daily remembrance that He is the One who washes me clean...I am hopeless without Him.