“Ok it’s 15 minutes later than I planned to leave, but if we back out the driveway in two minutes, we’ll be pulling in the parking lot when the service starts,” I was giving myself this pep talk as I turned the key to lock the door, run down my front porch steps to the minivan. Then I saw him.
“Oh, crap! What did you do?! Why are you so dirty?!!!”
“Just get in, you’ll have to go dirty.”
Then I looked at his extremely muddy shoes. And I reminded myself that we are in America, and I was going to get a lot of looks if I took him like that. (Plus the very Christian side of me thought about the people who would have to mop the floor after him.) Yeah, that’s what I thought 🙂
I had already started backing out of the driveway when I decided I better get him a different pair of shoes, at least. So I pulled back in, ran inside to his room, saw them in the clutter on the floor, grabbed them, grabbed a wet sponge and paper towel, locked the door, ran back down the steps, and jumped back in the minivan.”
“Think something positive and smile. Grace. Grace. Grace,” I told myself.
I smiled, handed him his shoes, and said, “Here you go buddy.” It’s okay, we just probably shouldn’t play golf in the mud next time before we are about to leave the house.
Did I mention I took a picture so I could share this fun story?
Oh, Jesus, how do military moms do this? How do single moms do this? How do moms with unbelieving husbands do this? My husband travels twenty something long weekends without me a year and I can hardly do this.
Why do we have to act like we have it together to go to church?
Myself included, I’m not pointing fingers, I’m raising my hand in an amen, sister friend.
God’s spirit reminded me of this verse today in the midst of the muddy shoes and pants.
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
My son’s clothes were just a reminder of my desire to have our “Sunday best” on as our righteous acts. But like the verse above says, our desires to look like we have it together on Sunday is just a filthy rag, as dirty as the orange clay on a little boy’s knees. We all have these desires, that’s why we need Jesus. That’s why Jesus told us we need church. We need each other. We need to be honest and say, I didn’t want to come to church today. I yelled at my kids and I had poor time management and I didn’t eat breakfast (yes that was my stomach growling during the prayer.) And I did honestly tell some ladies today at church about these struggles. Why do we need to do this?
“9Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
If I just smiled and said getting three kids to church by myself was a piece of cake, no one would know that the power of the living God inside me was who actually deserved the credit. Instead, they would think, Amy has it together (filthy rags). Her husband works in full time ministry, traveling every weekend and she can just do it all (muddy shoes). “Ewe, get those nasty clothes off me!!!”
How about instead, “Well, Amy has a hard time getting those kids to church on time, bless her heart. Did you see the dirt on Sam’s pants? She must be struggling because Nick is out of town. I don’t know how she does it.”
But I told them how I do it:
with his grace.
And more grace
On a wing and a prayer.
Just the fact that I was there today should be evidence enough 🙂
So dear mama, reading this, take off the fifty rags of having it all together.
Boast in your weaknesses so that the power of the grace filled God can rest on you.
Put on the beautiful, clean, robe of grace.
We’ve been walking around with sparkling clothes and dirty hearts long enough.