It was a Sunday morning, and my preacher husband was leaving for the early church service. We kissed at the door leading from the kitchen to the garage, and I lifted a sticky note off of the counter.
“Will you please take this to church?” I asked.
“I need it to stay there as a reminder to me,” he said.
I gave him a look. A look of death.
“Don’t look at me like that,” he said. We hugged goodbye, and he headed out the door.
Here’s the back story: I had cleaned off The Messy Counter that morning. You have one in your house, I’m sure. It’s the place where all the papers and receipts and mail land. The place where you pile the empty Rubbermaid dishes you need to return to your mother-in-law. The place where sometimes you fear you might go to jail because some important paper has been buried that you should have taken care of three weeks ago.
I had cleaned off The Messy Counter, which warrants a medal ceremony. The only thing left on it was that guy’s sticky note.
Now you understand my frustration, I’m sure.
So that preacher drove off to church, with me seething in anger over the abandoned sticky note.
“Really?” the Spirit of God said to me. Eyebrows raised.
I blew air out between my lips.
The Lord brought a verse to my mind that I had been chewing on recently:
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. (James 4:1-2a NIV)
“What makes you squabble over a sticky note?” the Spirit of God said to me.
“My desire to have a clean counter,” I mumbled –all hang dog.
“And you’re willing to kill with a look, in order to get what you want?” he said.
So I picked up my phone and texted: Sorry that I got mad at you over a sticky note.
Matt had no clue what I was talking about. The moment that was so ugly inside me hadn’t affected him that much, but I knew. I knew that I was angry and vicious for a few seconds.
But God cared about that square millimeter of my soul that had a layer of dirt on it. His Spirit pinched me right under the arm to get my attention –the way your mom used to pinch you when you were misbehaving in church.
The Spirit brought the perfect verse to my mind, to teach me truth about the moment. He pointed at my cell phone with his eyes and suggested I apologize to the poor preacher.
Do you see the kindness of God?
I don’t know any woman who wants to be a jerk. We don’t wake up and think, “I hope I’m angry and mean to my people today.” But we are sometimes.
God is kind enough to dust in the places others can’t see.
For [God] chose us in [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4 NIV)
It has always been God’s plan to make his people blameless. He is preparing us to pass his own white glove test.
What little corner of your life has God been dusting lately?
If the idea of becoming spotless brings you hope, read Christy’s new book: Blameless: Living Life Free from Guilt and Shame.