Saturday, January 4, 2014

Doughnuts, Messy Counters, and Redemption

My daughter was listening to Farmer Boy this morning and, always, what stands out to us is the FOOD these people ate.  She ran downstairs claiming she wanted apple pie, doughnuts, and pancakes for breakfast.

Um, no.

BUT, I did look up a quick recipe for homemade doughnuts and I fried up some gluten for breakfast this morning.  She was in charge of the powdered sugar and, by "in charge," I mean she dumped gallons upon every doughnut hole that came out of the grease.

Exasperated, I wailed, "You are making a huge mess!"  To which she replied with a deep and powerful truth.

"Yes, but it's a gooey, delicious mess."

She didn't refute the mess or deny its presence.  She simply saw it for what it was - messy, gooey, and...delicious.

I could use some of that perspective.

Day in and day out, my life is, quite simply, a MESS.  The house gets messy, the laundry gets messy, my words get messy, the schoolwork gets messy, my attitude gets messy.

But what's the alternative?  Perfection?  Neatness?  Everything piled up nicely in a row in our quiet little ordered lives? (Yes, Tia, that's exactly how I was thinking I'd like to live.)

But...really?  I mean REALLY?

What if everything always stayed in its place and we lived a life of....of what?  Of sipping lattes?  Of freshly fried doughnuts void of sugar, or, worse yet, covered with a pre-measured portion that was...perfect?  What is our life if it doesn't get a little messy from time to time?  Boring?  Predictable?

No thanks.

Once upon a time, a Man was born in a dirty, filthy, MESSY stable.  He dined with messy people who led messy lives and He made a mess out of their rules and He reached down into the mire and arose a redeemer.  He walked up a hill carrying a mess of wood, bleeding and broken and arrived only to be nailed, thrown in a hole right beside two men - whose lives were a mess.

The cross is messy.  Redemption is messy.  LIFE is messy.

He didn't come to eradicate our mess...He came to redeem it.

He came to rescue the fallen, to hold tight to the wailing, and to whisper loudly to the world His voice of reason and righteousness.  He didn't promise a life of order.  He promised a life of carrying our own bloody cross up a messy hill and dying to the mess that is our flesh.

Will I give thanks for the morning and the counter dusted with flour and the little girl inspired by a book and the sugar all over the plate and the doughnuts piled high with snowy white? Will I see it all from the perspective of a Father who loves me enough to live the mess, give me the mess, and call it all delicious?

I like to think that the more messy things become, the more I'm being molded into the image of a Creator who used dirt to do molding and arrived incarnate in a stable.  I want to be just like a King who sat down with the thieves and whores and wasn't afraid of their mess or the men who hated it.

I'm sure He wouldn't have minded a little extra powdered sugar.

I needed today.

I needed a little girl to dump sugar merrily, call it gooey and delicious, and remind me that this life, this home, this family, this task to which we are called, this living joyfully amidst the messy, it's Kingdom work and it IS a mess.

We are all a mess.

"Yes," says the brown-eyed girl, standing tall on the black chair in the messy kitchen, sprinkling triumphantly, "but it's a gooey, delicious mess."

And her mother laughs.





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