Monday, February 2, 2009

Red days

Friday was a red day.

From the moment my eyelids lifted I sensed it coming - and the day did not disappoint. Company was coming, the kids were all energy and I was in an irritable, discouraged, self-pitying mood.

The children each took their turns waving their red flag in true matadorian style. I am not an angry person. True rage is probably the sin I struggle with least. Not this day, though.

The house needed to be cleaned. Rounding up the kids to help was like herding a bunch of Ferrel cats. All afternoon I fought off tears; from guilt, frustration and the pain of biting my venomous tongue lest the awful words pooling there leak through my clenched teeth.

Company was coming and I wanted to take the time for more than surface cleaning. Murphey's Law: if I sweep it under the rug, or stuff it in a closet, or fail to sweep under the cushions, or throw it all in a back room that is where the company will go and all that I try to hide will be revealed. So the stress mounted as I attempted to herd my Ferrel cats into cleaning beyond their usual chores, and wave after wave of red rage washed over me.

Sweep, sweep, sweep - under the rug the rage went.

All the while I cried out to God - what is wrong with me? This is not like me!

"Yes it is, " He replied. "This is what your flesh is made of. You are a sinner. You are waging war against the members of your flesh. The same war waged by the drug addict, the murderer, the adulterer, the dictator, the power hungry, the liar, the child, the old man - and yes, even me, in the you remember? "

As I chattered with God it suddenly occurred to me - I am cleaning my house for my guests, but in my soul house I am sweeping it all under the rug. I might be able to hide my soul house from my guests, but the one who lives there sees all. There is no sweeping it under the rug with Him. It came down to this: Who was I trying to please? Our company, with my clean house (which is not even clean by most people's standards when it is the most clean I can achieve at this station in life.)? God? Or me?

So I smiled and released the children to play - good work today. Enjoy some free time before the guests arrive. Maybe we'll go out to eat, who knows? I began to sweep my soul-house clean. Immediately the red rage was gone and slowly the necessary pieces fell together. A friend called, husband came home a little early. The shopping, dinner, house and company - it all came together and everyone was genuinely happy when the doorbell rang.

Friday was indeed a red day; Grace- red, mercy- red, forgiveness- red. Blood-red.

I don't like red days - but I am thankful for them because they remind me that I am a sinner daily in need of a savior. I am reminded that He once had a red Friday, and He used it to become the savior I so desperately need.

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