This weekend, for whatever reason, my Facebook feed blew up with pictures of my friends’ favorite quiet places. Some were hash-tagged with things like #myfavoritethings or #heavenonearth, but others were not. It wasn’t a linkup I had missed out on, but it was as though everyone got together and decided to share their beautiful places….specifically, the places where they go to meet with God.
When I saw those pictures, my first reaction was joy because, well, I love pretty pictures. Fall leaves, sunset-lit paths, and plush fireside reading nooks make my heart happy. Inevitably, though, I’d look up from the idyllic pictures on my phone or iPad and see…well, my real world. Sadly (though not surprisingly) the view from where I sat was not as impressive.
And so I thought this morning that I would add a little dose of my reality to the internet, on the off-hand chance that maybe the real-life scenery of my life matches the real-life scenery of yours. Let’s call it…..#bigfatMondaymorningmess. And, for the heck of it: #nofilter.
Truthfully, I actually don’t think that’s so far-fetched to think that maybe this is your scenery today, too. I think my cluttered kitchen counters and my laundry baskets and scattered library books are probably more the things of reality for most of us, but we don’t like to share that. There’s a whole other essay there for a whole other day, but I have another point for writing today.
I had the most powerful quiet time in a long time this morning, right in the middle of this mess. True story. God moves in messes, both visible and invisible…..literal and figurative. Let that be an encouragement to you.
Yes, the beautiful places of life are great for meeting with God. When I travel to Belize, I am as excited about my quiet time in the tropical garden of our camp as I am about seeing the faces of people I love. When I go on vacation, I love to find the most picturesque place I can. And at my house….well, I wish I had an isolated corner with a big comfortable chair and a nice reading lamp and a window overlooking a beautiful garden, but I don’t. I have this.
And here’s what I really want you to know today: the mess is okay. God can meet with you in the mess. He WILL meet with you in the mess. While it may be less distracting to be in a tidy, Pinterest-worthy place, the truth is that life is not tidy and Pinterest-worthy. Life has messes. God does not require our hearts to be cleaned up before we come to Him, and He does not hesitate at the doorway of a cluttered house before coming in and spending time with us.
If we are able to push the mess aside for a little while – to disregard the cereal bowls and laundry baskets for a little while – God will meet us right there. He will step into our messes and equip us to handle them. He will come, and we will see Him.
I kind of think God has a soft spot for messes. He chose me, after all, and I’m a pretty big ol’ mess.