S is not the only one around here who can create a mess! Since I am still hand-feeding S ALL of her food, you can imagine what meal time looks like at our house! Evie is normally in my lap with a bottle, and Barrett and S are strapped in their seats with me attempting to feed all three! When Will is at work late and I'm extremely outnumbered, Barrett usually ends up feeding himself and more food ends up on the floor than in his mouth! Occasionally, I will hold off feeding Barrett (or he will refuse to eat), and I will let him draw while I feed S. In this picture, he somehow managed to grab a marker and color his face all in the blink of an eye!
All that to say - Mealtime is messy! Actually, all the time, it's messy! And that's exactly what I've been learning this week...
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
I can relate to this on so many levels! The dust, the mess, the cutting through of what seems so important to get to what really matters...
I have loved thinking about this story this week, and I've been so grateful for how the Lord used it to gently remind me of what my perspective needs to be! I must choose to see past the dust so thick on my furniture that my boys can practice their handwriting on it. I must choose to not focus on the mountain of dirty diapers piled high by my back door. I must choose to see past the boxes of china in my bedroom that need to be put away in storage for a season or the dining room that has been turned into a play space or the empty walls that once were covered with pictures and decorative plates. In the middle of what feels like deconstructing my house (in order to keep another little brown-eyed girl from doing it for me), I remember this story...first came the mess, THEN came the miracle!
The healing of the paralyzed man came in the middle of the mess! As he was lowered through the roof now cut into pieces and into the room now filled with dust and debris, it was only then that his healing happened!
The Lord knows the healing that needs to happen here in this house! He knows S's heart and mind! He knows all the parts of her little story that we will never know - the abuse and trauma that she must have gone through, the rejection and abandonment she surely must have felt, and the fear and mistrust that forced her to do whatever she could do to survive! The Lord knows it all, and He is the One - the only One - who can do the mending of her wounded and broken heart. And, so, we look to Him! We fix our eyes on Him and not on what a thousand books or therapists may say, but on His ability alone to transform darkness into light, sadness into joy, despair into hope, tears into laughter, and sickness into health!
I know that it will be messy! It already is! All I have to do is look around my house! I'm laughing to myself now as I take a peek and survey the "damage!" It does feel very much like my house has been turned upside down these past few weeks, and in many ways, it has. It's quite challenging to "baby-proof" for a 3 foot, 30 pound "baby" and that's exactly what S is on so many levels. And I will be completely honest! It's hard and frustrating! I liked my things the way they were. I liked being able to keep my house clean. I liked being able to have picture frames sitting on side tables. I liked having a dining room rather than a converted playroom. I liked having a china cabinet full of pretty things. I like my bedroom much better when it was not turned into the dumping ground for everything that needs to be boxed up and put away.
And the cutting continues, one tile at a time!
And I'm sure others will look and wonder what in the world are we doing, and I'm pretty positive that we will create quite a scene on numerous occasions. But we will keep making messes and cleaning up messes and living in messes and praising him for the mercies that messes can be! All will be well because HE can make us all well!
Seeing the broken places in S's life has revealed broken places in mine and in Will's hearts, our marriage, and in our other children, too! And this is a good thing, a blessing...a mercy! It might not be fun! It might hurt! It might stink like the pile of diapers by my back door, but it is good! It's good because we know the Healer, the Miracle-Worker, the One who can make lame men walk and blind men to see! This is the One we will keep our eyes on! This is the merciful One who can take this mess and turn it into something beautiful!
In the meantime, we'll keep stepping over the pile of diapers and dirty clothes and ignoring the floors that need to be mopped and furniture that needs to be dusted! We'll wake up tomorrow morning to do it all over again, one messy moment after another. And along the way, we'll choose to remember the mercy of this mess!
...a time to tear apart and a time to sew together...
HE has made everything beautiful in its time...
Ecc. 3:7, 11