When grace walks in the door

front door crayon

Last week the dreaded happened. The call went something like, “Hey girl, I’m in the neighborhood. Do you mind if I pop in for a quick cup of coffee?” Gulp. Crazed look. Mind whirling and stomach churning.

What I loathe even more than cleaning my house is someone popping in before it’s cleaned (or at least before I’ve had time to stash everything in cabinets and perform the great Houdini cover-up).

“Um. Um. Huh? Can’t hear you. Bad connection.” Then more stalling and stammering as simultaneously dishes are crashing into the sink and pillows are flying across the room like I’m competing for gold at the parish fair hackie sack toss.

Then the flashing thought, “Oh Dang! She’s gonna see all my junk. And the new marks on my walls!”

Mute button activated. “Girls, get those toys in that toy box RIGHT NOW! And don’t you dare open that door ’til I tell you to!”

“How close are you again? The kids are sure rowdy today. And I’m a mess, so is my house, we’d hardly be able to visit.” To which the response was, “Honey, I’ve seen your mess, and your kids. Now turn the coffee pot on for me, ’cause I’m not taking no for an answer.”

Five minutes and 20 house-wide sprints later, I opened the door to come face-to-face with blonde hair, a sassy smile, and a full on challenge, “Oh, girl. I’ve come to set you free. I don’t care about your mess.”

“Then welcome to chaos and come on in. While you’re at it, go ahead and check out my mini-Picasso’s new marks on our walls. And if you miss this one at the front door, no worries, just look straight to the back door. She wanted to make sure if you skipped it coming in, you could still catch it leaving out.”

Embarrassment crept up my neck in a patch of pink splotches. “Oh, and never mind the Christmas garland still up. In March. Or the nativity set. I was just thinking I’d leave Christ in Christmas all year long. I figured baby Jesus may as well stay out to usher in the resurrection season.”

We chuckled and she tried to put me at ease with, “Girl, you know I still have my whole tree up. I just call it my Easter tree now.”

I smiled, but I was still nauseous. Although I’m bothered by my piles and my junk, it wasn’t really about the mess. I was downright sick at the thought of someone ACTUALLY SEEING all my mess.

I’ve said before that God meets us in the middle of our mess. He’ll also send people knocking at our door, even with a dreaded pop-in, to help set us free from being bound by our mess. The ones on the outside, and even more, the mess on the inside.

We just have to let them in. Not to wallow in it with us, but to talk it out and walk it out beside us.

Sometimes God delivers us from our mess. Most times, He’ll deliver us through our mess.   And if you run from the front door, no worries, He’ll catch you heading out the back door. All you have to do is open the door. Then He’ll take you from a mess to a message. So you’ll have a story for His glory.

Quick! No time to cover up and pillow toss. Who have you invited into your mess? If no one comes to mind, let’s get to talking and walking here. Because we weren’t meant to do life or our mess alone.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Rev. 3:20 (NLT)

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NLT)

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19 (ESV)

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