“Sometimes my whole house is tidy. Any visitor coming to my house would be impressed unless they saw my bedroom,” a friend recently confessed to me, “and if anyone saw my bedroom I’d be so embarrassed”.
I nodded with a knowing smile. Because I know that my house can be the same. Some days our bedroom is immaculate. I’m happy to have the door open on those days. I’m happy for anyone popping up to the bathroom to glance into my room because I know it’s consistent with the rest of the house. But on other days, when I haven’t had as much time, or frankly I can’t be bothered, it’s a different story. On those days the door is firmly closed. I don’t want anyone seeing the clothes scattered on the floor, make up bottles strewn across the dresser, and general chaos from corner to corner.
I don’t want people to see the mess.
And I feel the rising fear when someone asks if they can pop in my room to get changed, or if their baby can sleep in there, or if they can borrow a pair of socks.
I’m exposed; my cover’s blown. My room doesn’t reflect the rest of the house.
My friend went on to say “It’s the same with people. I know there’s a load of mess in my heart but I don’t want people to see that. I close the door and I’ll re-open it when I think it’s all tidied up. But I know that I need to allow people into the process to help clean up the mess.”
Again, I nodded with a knowing smile.
Of course, there is someone who always sees the mess. He hates the mess but loves us. He’s the one who can take the mess away for good, and He wants us to give it to Him.
But part of His plan is that we walk with others, we share with others and we open our door to others. The door may not be open to everybody, but it needs to be open to a few. A few people who will help us work out how we got in the mess, what we’re going to do with the mess, and how we’re going to try and keep it tidy. They are the people who will help us make time to prioritise cleaning up the mess. They are the people who will cheer us on when we can’t be bothered.
And before we know it, we start thinking less about the mess and more about how the room can be more beautiful: A vase of sweet-smelling flowers, some extra space for a visiting baby to sleep in, a comfortable chair to relax and read, an extra picture or two.
Of course there are days when the room will be messy again. And we will always have a choice:
Close the door and try and deal with the mess on our own
open the door and let God and a few others in.
posted by Anna