I love my dwelling ~ my house.
It’s where I’m the most comfortable. It’s where I’m simply “me” in my leggings, fuzzy socks and baggy hoodies. It’s where I put my feet up and let my guard down.
My house is not perfect nor is it always clean. At times my dishes line the counter and clothes clutter the couch.
I like to think my house has that lived-in/loved-in atmosphere.
But sometimes it can be a little bit too lived-in so when people are coming, we drop into our 10-second-tidy mode.
It reminds me of that scene in You’ve Got Mail. When Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) shows up at Kathleen Kelly’s (Meg Ryan) door unannounced. She’s sick and in her jammies. She tries to send Joe away but when he’s standing right outside her door she drops into a 10-second-tidy mode. She throws on a rain coat for a robe, scoops up dirty, scattered Kleenex and even hides a dirty mug in a basket.
It’s that mode of: I don’t want you to see my mess.
It’s what we sometimes do when we think people are looking at our lives. We tidy up and cover over those things we don’t want others to see.
People ask, “How are you?” and we answer, “Good!” When really we’re a mess inside.
Now I get it. I do the same thing.
I mean, I’m not going to dump on my cashier at Aldi or that casual acquaintance I see while running errands. They really don’t want to know my mess when they ask, “How are you?”
But what about the Holy Spirit in our lives?
Ephesians 2:17 says, “…in Him we are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.”
What about when we try to complete a 10-second tidy before we allow God in?
We put on our best self. We clean-up and try to look impressive.
Yet He sees our mess and loves us still.
I was recently talking to some ladies about this idea. It’s a bit like when we have a leaky faucet or the electricity goes out, we don’t say, “That’s it! I’m moving out!” Instead we look at the problem and set about making a change and getting it fixed. We don’t move out just because things go wrong.
The Holy Spirit is the same way. He doesn’t move out or give up on us when things go wrong in our dwelling. Instead, He says, “I see we’ve got a leak over here. Let’s work on this together and get this fixed.”
Have you ever been in a house where you didn’t quite feel welcome?
- You go in and you’re not quite sure if you should sit or stand.
- You have a drink in your hand but should you place it on the coffee table or hold it awkwardly just to be safe?
I think because I’ve experienced those kinds of situations I make it my aim to make my dwelling a place where people feel comfortable.
I want people to feel at home. I want people to curl up on the couch; grab a blanket if they’re chilled or spread out in front of the fire on the floor. They can lean against the counter while I cook or better still… pitch in with the cooking and offer to lend a hand. It’s in community and shared experiences that we build life together.
It’s that lived-in/loved-in dwelling where I want people to feel at home.
It should be the same with the Holy Spirit in our lives.
He’s not a house inspector or land assessor of what we owe. He’s not there to point out our faults — leave us to fix it and then come back to assess again.
He’s there to encourage us when we fail, pick us up when we fall and walk beside us when we struggle.
I want my life dwelling to be a place that welcomes Him in. A place where He feels welcome to move about and poke at the areas that need attention.
With the Holy Spirit, we don’t need to cover up or keep our dirty mugs hidden in a basket.
Instead we can invite Him in as a welcomed guest. Our lives can be a dwelling where He lives with the real us — fuzzy socks, leaky faucets and imperfect mess.
We don’t have to cover over or tidy up to invite Him in. He comes into our imperfect dwelling and loves us just as we are.
You are loved with His everlasting love.
Have an amazing day!