from Rachel: Spring Cleanin’

Jesus Christ must be Lord of our intellect if we are to keep our house in order (Matt 22:34-36; Phil 4:8)

A. Study!

“Christ must be Lord of my intellect for me to have spiritual order.”

B. Dwell on the good stuff!

“It doesn’t come automatically; I must deliberately turn my thoughts to these.”

Jesus Christ must be Lord of our talents, abilities, resources and opportunities if we are to keep our house in order (Matt 25:14-30)

A. What tools are on your workbench? (Don’t think they’re not there!)

“Saying they’re not is not humility; it is disobedience!

B. What interests you? Pursue it!

The Lord must be the Lord over our secret sins in order for our house to be in order (Rom. 6:1-2; Ps. 32:1-7)

A. What’s under the sink?

“Garbage, hidden junk. Sin is stinky garbage. Christ pulls us out of the dumpster, but we grab a couple handfuls to hide under the sink in our new clean house. Deal with the garbage (the secret sins) or it will eventually ruin your life!”

B. Be encouraged!

Dearest Rachel –

I know that I mentioned the cache of BSF workpapers as Jan and I were going through the upstairs office on Thursday, and I did consider showing a page from that collection by way of example (I also realize that this hasn’t anything to do with Father’s Day, but you had something to say about that with last week’s post), but this sermon note, written nearly twenty years ago, seems more relevant to what I’m being going through (and am still going through) as I continue to pick up after you this one last time. I don’t think I can speak for any metaphorical secret sins, but certainly the literal – well, I wouldn’t necessarily call all of it garbage, but there was a lot of unnecessary stuff that you (and by extension we) could not get rid of for all this time.

I’m sure this wasn’t your first acknowledgment of the situation (although again, in this case, Pastor Steve – and therefore you as you were taking these notes – was referring metaphorically, so I’m not sure that you were in fact conscious at the time you wrote this of the growing situation we had at home), and I know it wasn’t your last. And it may be sort of ungentlemanly for me to keep picking at this point, now that you’re gone and can’t defend yourself. But the whole process has been quite the struggle for me to come to terms with. And I really can’t stress this enough, as it’s taken a great deal of time, effort and money to deal with.

But it’s been a necessary ordeal, in order to render this house livable – and more to the point, hospitable – again. It’s one thing for me to stay in this mess with you, and I’ve said more than once before that I would do so for another hundred years if I were given the option to keep you by my side. But with you gone, the piles simply can’t stay. And while I continue to feel like I’m erasing a bit of you with everything that I discard, I do also keep finding bits of you – like this! – in the process. Little bits that remind me that you agree, in some oblique way, that what I’m doing now is the right thing. And I’d like to think it would give you some measure of joy once Daniel and I are able to invite others to our home, without worrying about what they might think about the mess – or even, trying to work out where they might even be able to sit down in the place.

To be sure, the better thing would’ve been not to let it get this bad in the first place. I’m pretty sure that at some point, we simply concluded ‘why waste time cleaning, when things were just going to get dirty again in short order?’

And so, here we are. At least now we’re making headway.

In any event, soon the challenge will be to keep it this way, just as your notes here refer to. And while I’m taking your notes more literally than they were intended, sometimes a literal application is just what is needed for one’s situation in life.

Wish us luck, darling. I think we’ll need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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