16
Jul
14

Someone Else’s Dirt

Resurrection is at the center of the Christian life, so it is fitting that after so long, this blog should come back to life.  We really want a way to let people know how things are going on our new adventure.  Much has happened since January 14, 2009, the date of my previous post.  I’ve gone to seminary and graduated.  Wachovia became Wells Fargo, which I left to finish school and to which I have returned.  We have moved from Charlotte NC to Auburn ME … ME as in MAINE.  Much has changed.

10345573_10204393667546653_4696153960811892690_nWe have been in the new house in Maine for right at a month now.  Kim really found us a very nice house: it’s a very quiet street out in the country a little but, but also very close to town.  The house is big enough to entertain, but not big enough to overwhelm.  There is a lot of yard, but not so much that I need a lawn tractor.  It’s a good house, and although it is definitely in need of a moderate amount of work, it’s pretty solid.

But this house had a problem when we bought it:  It was full of someone else’s dirt. There is just something about it being your house, but the floors are covered with dirt that you didn’t track in.  The shower has mold that you didn’t let grow.  The light fixtures are covered with dust that you never would have let accumulate.  Everywhere you look, there is someone else’s dirt.

Now, Kim desperately wants to have a clean house, so for the last month I have watched her sweeping and dusting and wiping and steaming every inch of this house.  Yesterday she made an amazing statement:  “I think this house is finally clean.”  Even with help from our dear friends, Nathan and Michelle Mikoski, and our daughters Faith, Sarah, and Annabeth, the herculean efforts at reaching this point were beyond description.

But you know, a funny thing happened.  Within hours, there were dirty dishes filling the kitchen sink.  There were dirty socks lying in curious places around the house.  There were muddy footprints from people coming in from the soggy outdoors.  But somehow that’s better, because it is our dirt.

I find this points to a deeper truth.  How hard it is when we find the messiness and sin in other people’s lives!  How disappointed we are, and how quick to judge.  We are looking at it and seeing someone else’s dirt and now it is soiling our lives too.  And yet when we look at our own lives, our sin usually doesn’t bother us nearly as much. We can explain it – even justify it.  We have reason why our sin isn’t so bad, and I think it’s because it’s our own dirt.

This is where the gospel changes everything.  Jesus had no dirt at all, but he came into the filthiest place in creation – the moral cesspool we call earth.  He came here to take our dirt and give us his cleanliness (for a vivid picture of this, take a look at Zechariah 3).  His mission was all about someone else’s dirt.  And now that he has taken responsibility for our dirt, it frees us to be able to help others with their dirt:  not in judgment, but in compassion; not in anger, but in mercy; not with a sense of superiority, but simply out of gratitude for what we have received.

It is hard, unpleasant work to get involved in someone else’s dirt.  But our Savior has done that for us.  Can’t we be willing to do it for others?

 

 

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