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    Glory In The Garbage

    Thursday, December 4, 2014

    I stood in front of the kitchen sink, hot tears pouring down my face and felt like a failure once more.

    "This is not how Martha said to do it," I told myself. "I've failed again."

    (Martha would be Ms. Martha Peace and she'd been speaking to me through the pages of a book I had been reading. A book titled, The Excellent Wife.)

    It had been a whole lot of a day and it wasn't about to be over yet.

    You know the kind of day I'm talking about. The one where your coffee spills down your shirt, the toilet overflows, you are late to drop off your children for school and that's all in the first hour. It's bound to be down hill from there.

    None of those things will make you cry frustrated tears in front of the sink though, because in the grand scheme of things we all know that none of that really matters.

    Spills can be cleaned up, toilets can be plunged and a tardy or two wont send your child into academic failure.

    Those types of things can mask the real issue for a while but the crux of the matter was that I'd had a word or ten with my man, it wasn't my finest of moments and I was carrying a lot of guilt.

    What really made it even worse was that it was MY fault. I knew it. Ms. Peace had been on to me about some of my issues and quite frankly, I seemed to be having a hard time learning.

    Somewhere between the tears at the sink and putting dinner on the stove I remembered that I'd lost the keys to the car earlier in the day. It wouldn't have been so easy to blame that one on me except for the fact that I was the last one who drove said car and now no keys were to be found. I hate it when that happens.

    So rather than talk to the Lord in prayer and let Him help me with my failure right then and there, I started to mask my disappointment in myself again.

    "I'll search for the keys," I thought.

    Because everybody knows that a task like turning the couch cushions over and searching through pockets of jeans and sweatshirts for a tiny little object can be extremely therapeutic at times.

    Shockingly, it just made matters worse.

    When I came up empty handed time and time again I started to realize that the only place the keys could possibly be was the trash.

    They had gone missing a day or two earlier so this meant that the trash I needed to go through was in the garage well on it's way to the dump by now.

    Thankfully, there were only two bags in that big can and I pulled them both out and sat right down on the concrete floor and began to dig.

    The first bag was full of school papers and some cardboard box that had been ripped up and thrown in. It was easy to go through and not too ferocious, as a big bag of garbage can sometimes can be.

    It also didn't contain my keys.

    The next bag was not so easy. I'd thrown a leftover container of self rising flour from Thanksgiving dinner into that bag. I had also decided to fix lasagna the next day and my Ragu sauce must have splattered nicely when I discarded the remnants. It coated the flour well.

    I sat there slowly pulling things one by one out of one messy trash bag and putting them into a brand new white one when The Lord of Glory began to tug at my heart.

    "Look inside that mess! That looks a lot like your heart doesn't it?"

    "Yes Lord, it does. How can you ever take all of this mess that is me and use it for your good? There's NOTHING good in me."

    "Keep digging, look again."

    I pulled a few more items from the trash bag.

    "But there's just remnants of broken pieces Lord, and it's messy on top of that."

    "Yes it is my child, but I took all of those broken pieces, covered them in my grace and made a lot of beauty out of what lies in those remains in the last few days."

    I remembered the cake I had made with the flour and the big pan of bubbly lasagna that we had eaten the evening the before.

    "Left alone my child your heart will always fail you and without my help it will be difficult to make anything good."

    "But when you let me cover you with my grace I can bring things together, cover them with my Spirit that lives in your heart and together we can make beautiful things happen."

    I was almost to the bottom of the bag by this time and there underneath a big heap of flour a glimmer of metal caught my eye.

    It was my keys.

    I picked them up and carried them inside. I quietly handed them to my husband.

    He grinned, took them to the sink and washed them off, dried them with a paper towel and never have I seen the embodiment of Christ more evident in my man.

    Oh how He loves us. How He covers us with grace.

    Without Him my life would be a big pile of garbage for sure.

    But because of Him beautiful things are made of my messy heart.

    To God be the glory.

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