I like pretty things, clean things…I don’t like dirt, mess or things not prettied up and perfect.
So, when I see poverty, pain, and ruin, I look away. My overly analytical mind takes over, reasoning away pain, blaming this person, or accusing that system.
But God doesn’t put up with that. He mercifully allows tragedy near me. Believe me, I am beyond grateful that it is not in my path. But it’s close enough so a little mess splashes onto me. Just close enough so that a whiff of stink reaches the core of my soul. And near enough so unmet potential touches me.
He beckons me to really see, to embrace the one in pain, to forget my analysis for just a second and behold the precious heart next to me.
Though everything in me wants to run away, wash the mess off, find a cleaner smelling space, and look only at those who are doing big and great things, Jesus’ love for me fills me with the courage to stand and stare.
For in the dirt and ugliness, redeeming work can be done. Which is more wondrous, a perfectly clean life or a life filled with dirt-turned-heavenly pixie dust? Which is more wonderful, a life thrown away, or a life redeemed? Which is more amazing, artificial goodness or Life at work?
Jesus, thank you for the recent opportunities to see the least of these. Thank you for letting me watch you restore that which is broken and dirty. God, give me the courage not look away, for that is where I will see your redeeming hand. I don’t want to miss it, You in action!