Sometimes I'm a little slow to catch on.
My almost 2-year-old son loves to help out. He also really prefers for things to be clean. It's not unusual to see him walking through the apartment with a brush and dust pan sweeping crumbs, real or imaginary. We almost never make it through a meal without him demanding a napkin so that he can wipe his hands or tray or both.
Still, I should have noticed when he bee-lined from his room to the kitchen, grabbed the pan and brush, and then intently ran back to said room. I thought nothing of it.
I probably also should have noticed when he jogged into the living room, climbed onto the sofa, and reached immediately for a tissue (the intensity and focus was astounding). I didn't.
Instead, I thought as he stretched for the tissue and then turned and ran off, "those are some fun retro acid-washed jeans." Remember those circa 80s/90s? Blue in their jeandom but splotched with white up and down. We were so cool.
But wait, I've never seen acid-washed jeans for sale in France. And Sawyer doesn't own any. Nor does he dress himself. Curiosity peaked, I walked back to his bedroom. There sat my little boy, pushing and scattering little piles of baby powder with the tissue. He had knocked a bottle of baby powder off the shelf and the lid had come off, spilling the white fluffy powder all over the floor. Sawyer was trying to wipe it up, but his tissue was a little overmatched. I smiled.
I wonder how often God looks down at us sitting in the middle of a mess we've made, totally outmatched and hopeless to clean it up. Is he happy to see us trying as I was with my son? Will he come down and clean up our messes with as little as a pleading look? I think so. I hope so. I think he already has.
Thankfully the baby powder spill was harmless, and actually made his room smell pretty nice.
But what if it had been something else? What if I found my son sitting in the middle of an incredibly abrasive cleaning fluid? What if his hands and legs were scarred? I would pick him up, quickly. Hold him. Take care of him. Cry with him.
Why would we think God's reaction any different?
He loves us. Oh how he loves us.
Whether messes that simply interrupt our day or messes that hurt us and leave scars, God is there. He sees it. He is more than able to take care of it. He knows we'll learn from it. But mostly, he cares about our well-being.
And I like to think he chuckles sometimes when he sees us pushing around a mountain of powder with a tissue.
I started this post thinking about a metaphor to bridge the gap between the cleansing blood of Christ and acid-washed jeans, but I'll leave that one to your imagination.