Archive for April 30th, 2014


I love order!

I love cleanliness!

I love for everything to have a place, and be in it!

(not that one could always know that by entering my home).

I also know that, often, progress happens by making a mess.

That plate of homemade brownies can cost a flour-dusted kitchen.

That visit from friends with little ones or grandchildren can cost a messy living room.

That hoard of teen girls preparing for the school dance can leave the bathroom looking like the ‘samples’ counter of Cover Girl.

That group of students over for a swim party can leave the pool deck looking like Free Willy had landed in your pool.

Years ago, while planning an event for women it was suggested having popcorn to nibble on, while watching the movie in the sanctuary. To which another woman replied, “in the sanctuary? We can’t have that mess in the sanctuary.”

This was not a comment from a fuddy duddy, or an older lady, or even the church custodian … this was a comment from a mom of young kids!

Over the years, as that scene from the past has played out in my head, I have realized that I was not shocked that a young woman would struggle so much with the idea of popcorn, as


in the church sanctuary.

You see, there are times when we enter the sanctuary of church, and we are a mess.

We bring our doubts, our fears, our heartaches, our losses

and we top those off with a drizzling of sin

every time we enter into the church sanctuary.

And it is the responsibility of the believers around us, to help lead us to the one who can clean up our mess.

The Bible is full of people who were a mess. The Psalms are full of David’s cries out to God for help. Job sat on a dung pile trying to scrape the scabs from his skin. Jonah ran away from God’s will and ended up in a whale. Mary was an unwed teen. Paul spent time in prison. And Jesus … well, His cross would not be acceptable in very many (any?) sanctuaries that I know of … too messy!

Life isn’t clean, and neat and tidy …

life is a mess,

and we need to be prepared that either we will be cleaning up the mess of others,

or our own.

Charles Colton said so well,

“Life isn’t like a book.
Life isn’t logical or sensible or orderly.
Life is a mess most of the time.
And theology must be lived in the midst of that mess.”

For progress to take place, we need to be prepared for the mess in the process of life … even in the sanctuary.



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