Cleaning House Send a link to a friend

[August 19, 2008]  I talked with a friend this week about an opportunity she had to help a guy clean his house.  It may not sound that monumental, except his house hadnít been cleaned for SEVEN years.  Something had happened, and his life as he had known it ended.  Maybe something died, or shut down, but stuff started to pile upógarbage, dishes, papers, clothesóuntil it felt overwhelming.  His friends didnít know how bad it had gotten, he hadnít shown them, or maybe they just never stopped by.  My friend was the first in a long time.  They spent six hours cleaning, just so they could clear a path so the appraiser could walk through the house.  Itís not finished, and thereís a whole lot more to do, but itís a start.

ChiropracticI asked her how she had gotten involved and she said it was ďtotally a God thing.  I never would have imagined meeting this guy and spending the day helping him clean his house.Ē

Weíre all like a house, and we have certain rooms that are open to guests and friends, and have even more open to family, but usually at least one room is all ours.  Over the years, little by little, Iíve tried to clean up some of the clutter in my homeóthe papers, the books, the things here and there that I canít let go of yet, and sometimes the useless junk.  Itís not done yet, but it feels like order is emerging out of the chaos, and I realize this feels good.

There are still rooms in my apartment, and in my life, that need to be gone through, and I realize some of those rooms canít be dealt with alone.  When I get busy or avoid dealing with my junk, it builds up, waiting to be dealt with, not going away until I face it.

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Nursing Homes


It takes some vulnerability to have someone come into the home, and see the mess.  Iím afraid theyíll criticize me for having junk.  Why couldnít I be neater?  My junk doesnít look like their junk.  Iím not supposed to have any junk.  Sometimes we canít clean up our closets or ourselves on our own.  It gets too overwhelming and we donít know where to start. 

This guy had shut down.  He was wrapped up in helping other people, but was ignoring things in his own home.  My friend came in with the attitude of, ďYep, you have some junk.  Let me help you clean it up.  Weíll work on it together.Ē  This is what Jesus does in us.  We let him in our house, and he sees the clutter, but doesnít then turn around and walk away or abandon us, or refuse to have anything to do with us.  Instead, he kindly but persistently helps us clean it up, often the areas that weíve gotten so used to we no longer see, or the areas that are so overwhelming we donít know where to begin.  Little by little, what was once a garbage heap becomes livable again.

[Cliff Wheeler - Professor at LCCS]



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