Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A few days ago I was thinking that my whole life seems to revolve around one thing...Dirt.  I sweep dirt, wipe up dirt, wash off dirty hands and mouths, dust up dirt, wash dirty clothes, wipe dirty bottoms.  This is never more true than during the summer. My children can't play outside for more than 3 seconds with out coming covered in the dusty variety that surrounds our southwestern plateau home. It even manages with the help of gusty winds to work its way around closed windows and cover every surface with a fine layer of its self.
However, irritatingly true this is I was thinking that I also feel like I am fighting a more insidious type of dirt...the dirt of the heart.  Some friends of ours use to try to relate sinfulness to there little boy by telling him that he had a dirty heart...this shocked some college aged friends we have, but the reality is just that, our sin is like the most disgusting dirt and it covers our spiritual hearts.

"All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away." Isaiah 64:6

"Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’” Mark 7:15

The interesting thing is that we are told that God created the first man, Adam, out of the dirt of the earth and we all know that after death our body literally becomes soil again. We are really "one" with dirt, both physically and sadly spiritually too.
Sin reminds me of dirt in so many ways. One can never be fully clean and so it is with sin as well. It never goes away, particularly with constant personal attempts at "keeping clean." In fact, the harder one tries to be holy the more obvious sin becomes. Our sin is always there and more obvious than we'd like.
Sin is also like dirt in that it is all around us. Daily I hear of another horrible news story, the recent is an Albuquerque boy, killed, buried at a playground, scars all over his little body and his shoe and foot were discovered by another parent and child playing. The sheer number of horrible sinful actions on a daily basis are astoundingly sad and overwhelming! 
More than that, our "little sins" and small messes daily consume us. Even if I tried very very intentionally to keep every part of me clean I would inevitably make a mess of myself. Sin is the same. The Westminster Shorter Catechism has a question that asks: What is sin?  I am teaching my four year old that it means: "Every thought, word or deed that breaks the law or will of God."  Honestly, she had no trouble understanding or memorizing this...she knew what sin was already. Some times it seems like those of us in Christ have the motto: "Yes, I was cleaned by the blood of Jesus, but now I am keeping myself clean."  Our daily, "insignificant" sins are daily reminders that we need to be cleaned and that it is impossible to be clean of our own will or volition. 
Cleaning is a constant process for us, it is daily, weekly at least and is never ending. I think of those people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that horde and fear ever leaving their homes. They wallow in filth.  But in most ways we are no better spiritually. We fear coming clean, showing the dirt that resides in our inner rooms and because of it we horde up our sins and wallow in them. The best we can do on our own is move the dirt around and sweep it under the carpet. It is like telling my 2 year old to go wash his face. The best I can expect is that he will smear the wet dirt around on his face.

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water." Heb. 10:22

It amazes me that as a Christian, a follower of Jesus with a "relationship with Him" that my sin still has such a hold on me, it still covers me like that fine layer of dirt blown in through the little cracks of the windows. I still need confession, forgiveness and cleansing on a daily basis. I still need a Savior.  "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." Heb. 9:22   I am thankful that my sin is always before me and that because it is always before me I am in a place to see my need of salvation, my need of my Savior and of forgiveness...continual and never ending. One of my favorite singers, Derek Webb once noted so well that the best thing that could happen to us is that our sin would be broadcast on the evening news for all to see. Then we'd all be free to stop hiding our sin and be free to live in the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus. 

1 comment:

susan said...

Marci ~ Loved this post! Totally agree and totally relate. Good stuff, lady!