But while it is hard, it is absolutely necessary.
On first glimpse, you could have walked through Creekside, one of our houses on camp for Assignment teams in the summer, and thought that it looked pretty nice and that it was certainly suitable for guests. Which it was, but closer to the surface and then beneath the surface, there was much more. There were baseboards yearning to be dusted, cabinets in desperate need of cleaning, and bathrooms that screamed for bleach.
So that is where the girl interns found ourself this week. In Creekside. Cleaning. Cleaning. every. single. thing. on. our. hands. and. knees.
Praise the Lord for bleach, scrub brushes, pumice stones, ladders, hundreds of rags, shop-vacs, Murphy's oil, hot water, and can-do attitudes. Because, yes, those are all things desperately needed for a good deep cleaning.
|just a little expression of how we feel about scrubbing toilets|
|karlie & murphy's oil: 2 really great things|
|climbing to all heights to get dat dust... be gone with ya bad self, dust.|
|mary mary mary|
|never ending scrubbing|
And in cleaning this week we have laughed, we have cried, we have danced to Ms New Booty, we have yelled, we have talked, and it has been good.
Because cleaning is like that: it goes deep, into the nitty-gritty; it tears things up only to put them back together; it involves laughter and tears; and it gets real; but it is good.
And that is what the deep cleaning of our souls looks like too.
The Lord works in our hearts and in our deepest most beings. He works to refine us and to clean us and to make us new. And that cleaning goes deep, into the places that we want to keep hidden. It involves breaking things down, only to rebuild them and it involves tears and laughter.
We are continually being worked on and cleaned by the Lord. Some seasons are full of days of light cleanings. The days that we are gradually being drawn to the Lord and where we are connecting with Him and sensing Him in the slight gentle ways of everyday life.
But some days it is a cleaning that requires bleach, a wired scrub, and a lot of work. Those days come in all different forms. Sometimes those are the days we throw our hands up in confusion because none of it makes a lot of sense anyways. Or they are the days spent crying on the floor because thing are not going as you expected and hoped. Or they are the days that a friend speaks truth deep into your soul and it hurts because it is not what you wanted to hear, but it is what you needed to hear. And sometimes those are the days you drag your feet to spend time with the Lord because you sense the Spirit moving in you and it is scary. Those are the days of deep cleaning. Because the Lord works in the deep places, those places that we want to cling on to and that we want to keep hidden. He draws us to our knees and He reminds us that He makes all things new, even the things we are desperately attempting to keep buried. And sometimes those days are hard, really hard, like painstakingly difficult to the point of sobbing... but they are good.
Walking into the season of deep cleaning can be rough, or maybe down right miserable. But the Lord meets you there. He does not leave you alone and He is not dismayed by your dirtiness. He comes prepared with His unfailing love, unfathomable grace, and never-ending mercy. And may our prayer be that at the end of a season of deep cleaning we know the Lord more and that we are drawn more closely to His likeness.