“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”
I should have known better, I really should. I’ve been around the block a time or two, after all.
It almost made me retch. For real.
Let me set the stage for you.
I don’t do dishes every day. You’re shocked, I know. But I don’t. I get to them when I get to them. In this case, the crockpot which had held Sunday’s chicken didn’t actually get washed until last night.
In all fairness, I had rinsed the pot on Sunday night. I thought it was fine to leave for a few days.
But somehow the lid got put back on and you know what they say – out of sight, out of mind.
And out of nose.
Well, I got to the dishes last night. And let me tell you, the removal of that lid was rather an adventure.
An adventure of epic proportions, might I add.
The stench was unreal.
The scientific community would have considered themselves overwhelmed with promising specimens for their Petri dishes, let me tell you.
I quickly ran to the back cupboard and grabbed some bleach and added a generous swish, continuing with the other dishes as it soaked.
That’s when the gagging started.
Finished with the rest of the dirty dish pile, I turned to start on the chicken pot.
The whole revolting mass was churning with bubbles, fizzing, swirling as if stirred by a researcher’s swizzle stick.
I’ve never seen the likes.
Of course, once the pot was scrubbed, baptized in copious amounts of dish soap, and deprived of its toxic contents, I saw the spiritual lessons contained therein.
I never, ever want my heart to smell like that.
Or look like that. Or behave like that. Or even faintly resemble that swill and pestilence.
I need to keep short accounts. I want to smell like a bed of roses.
Sweet. Fresh. Appetizing. Inviting.
Here’s the thing.
My sin smells like that funky chicken slime when placed next to heaven’s fresh breezes. I can’t take it with me, or I infect the whole place with a roiling, frothing Chernobyl.
I need to stay clean.
And the only way to do that is to keep monitoring what’s under the lid, so to speak.
I need to stay in the Word so that my conscience stays fresh and sensitive to what is right and good and pure and true. I need to stop and take stock and peek at what is going on under the surface long enough to catch any rotten patterns and attitudes and habits before they smell to high heaven.
I need to come to Jesus in humble repentance, knowing that He is the only one who can remove that stench and wash my heart clean when I need a good scrub.
Keep checking under the lid with me?
Father, that pot was so disturbing. Remind me that my sin is just as filthy compared to Your purity and holiness, and that I need to come to You to be cleansed regularly. Thank You for the gift of forgiveness that You offer!! Amen.