If my alarm went off, I didn’t hear it. In fact, the baby was the first thing I heard this morning as my eyes opened and saw the numbers on the clock.
It was 7:34 AM, approximately 34 minutes later than it was supposed to read. At this point on a Thursday morning, I should have been adding last minute things to the oldest’s book bag, feeding a baby a bottle, and helping the middle soul with a fashion crisis while securing my leather bag for a morning of work.
Instead, the clock is reading 7:34, and I’m still laying in a pile of disheveled sheets.
Busting down the stairs in our little cape cod, I clumsily greeted everyone and headed for my contacts. After a whirlwind of dry shampoo, toothpaste, and some new eye liner, I emerged with a messy bun and a need for coffee.
After kissing the oldest goodbye and feeding the baby, I turned my attention toward the clean load of dishes that was waiting in the dishwasher. Since I had a few moments to spare before needing to leave, I decided to tackle the cupboard-ready dishes. As I pulled, stacked, and placed the dishes, I realized I hadn’t seen or heard our Evie Rae for over 15 minutes. And if you know Evie, that’s a LOOOONNNGGG time to not hear or see her. Hastily, I called for her.
“Evie! Where are you? Evie?!”
From behind her brother’s bedroom door, I heard her muffled voice.
“I’m in here, Mommy!”
Opening the door, I found her sitting on the bedroom floor in a pile of organized Legos.
“Evie, what are you doing, sweetheart?”
“You asked Caden to pick up and organize his Legos last night, so I thought I would do it.”
I was speechless.
“But Evie, that wasn’t your mess to clean up,” I responded in humble shock.
“I know, but I decided to show love.”
Tears welled up. And just as soon as those tears welled up and the words reverberated in my head, I realized that there couldn’t be more apt words for a Thursday morning.
In the rush of the morning and in the chaos of the scrambling, I hadn’t remembered the sacredness of this symbolic Thursday. I had been busy and hurried and because of it, my heart hadn’t had time to reflect and ponder.
But as I stood in that room with my little girl, the one who was knelt on the floor in a posture of service, I couldn’t help but repeat the same words I had just repeated.
“But that wasn’t your mess to clean up.”
And as we finalized the last-minute Thursday morning details before leaving the house and driving to the sitter’s house, my girl and I marveled at the beautiful parallel of her selfless act and His sacrificial love.
It’s true; it wasn’t His mess to clean up.
Hanging on that cross, He died for my mess.
Suffering on that hill, He bled for my mistakes.
In absolute perfect holiness, He cleaned up a mess that was NONE of His responsibility, but ALL of His choice.
We created the mess.
We screwed up the plan.
We made a disaster of His beauty.
We rejected His offer of perfect communion.
And with arms outstretched and a will bent, He cleaned up the mess.
He wiped away our guilt.
He took away our transgressions.
He bore our shame.
He received our stripes.
He took on the mess of the world, and He made it His very own.
And on those wooden beams, He redeemed our mess in a way that our best efforts could never, EVER do.
In a posture of humility and in an act of unmerited and undeserved grace, He took our tremendous mess and gave us infinite mercy and indefinite love.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:3-11