Saturday, June 7, 2014

Dirty, but Clean

"first, cleanse the inside"
Matthew 23:26

I got my car back from the mechanic today.  It's been gone for a week.  Blown head gasket, which I do not recommend... Last Friday evening I left the house to run an errand, and before I got a quarter-mile from home, there was smoke billowing from my exhaust pipe.  That's a little disconcerting, let me tell you...

So a week, and several hundred dollars later, my car is back home where it belongs.  When we picked it up, I was impressed with the mechanic.  He explained things fairly well (which can be difficult, as I insist on asking questions to learn more in situations like this) and told us to come back in a couple hundred miles for a free check-up.  Plus, I was impressed that he called my husband a couple of times over the course of the week to let him know how things were progressing, and to assure him that they'd be able to be done when they said they would.  That's so much better service than if we'd had to call him, don't you think?

But with all that said, I was slightly off-put when I got in my car.  Though the mechanics had put down those paper floor mats, there were grimy fingerprints on the door handle, and I could tell the radio had been touched.  {I knew that because I'm not in the habit of listening to "Hot 92," or whatever that station was...}

So when I got home, I had a very strong urge to clean my car.  My daughter came to help me, and we cleaned all the handles and surfaces, and then used Armor-All on them.  We cleaned the windows and wiped down the dash and the knobs and etc.  I had vacuumed it not too many days ago, so it now felt fresh and clean inside. 

But here's the thing:  the outside is a mess.  We cleaned both the inside and outside of all the windows, but the car itself is filthy.  Because we are putting down new flooring in my son's bedroom, much of his furniture is in the garage, and my car has been in the driveway since Memorial Day.  This, combined with the several days it spent at the mechanic, has resulted in a very dirt-covered car.

Notwithstanding, we did not wash the car.  First of all, it was nearly dinnertime.  Secondly, I knew it was still going to be sitting in the driveway, so I had a bit of why bother?

Now, it seemed a little absurd to me to have a car that's only clean on the inside, but that's how it had to be, at least for the time being.  And if you saw me driving down the street, you might say, if you are that type of person, "Wow... that's a dirty car."  But you would have no idea that under all that dirt was a spotless interior. 

This, my friends, is the portrait that God sees.  When we look at one another, we see dirt ~ impatience, selfishness, maybe gossip or forgetfulness.  But when God looks at us ~ though He knows full well how dirty we are on the outside ~ He also knows how clean we are on the inside.  He knows because He does the cleaning Himself.  So though the world sees sin, He sees righteousness.

Sin, confession, repentance, forgiveness.  Repeat as needed.  But know that your faith has already accomplished your righteousness. 

~ "with the heart one believes unto righteousness" ~
Romans 10:10

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