It was 4 in the morning when I woke up and decided to listen to the book of Revelation. Like most books in the Bible once is never enough. So, hoping to be lullabied back to sleep, I began to listen. Hard. And I tried to understand it. Hard. There’s alot: the seven stars, the golden lampstands, the churches, the angels, the horses. There is life here and death here. The life part is our choice. So is the death part. God’s final judgement is all here in black and white. There is blessing here:
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. “ Rev 1:3
If we just read it aloud we will be blessed. Listening counts too.
I get to the part where God is talking to the church of Laodicia and says, “Those I love I rebuke and discipline so be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.” Rev 3:19-20
I drink it in. Sup it in with God, my head on my pillow. My eyes open. I think my heart is that door. So help me God, help us God, if we ever close the door of our hearts to You.
And then I think God must really love me. It’s all in the priceless lessons. The sharpening. The molding. Each twist of God’s hand on my heart wringing out the dirty water. Scrubbing out the black. God has brillo.
The stupid days.
In those days I didn’t know I was rebelling against God. Who would rebel against God if they really knew they were. Not only did Satan rebel against God but he continued to disobey God’s instruction and wanted to be equal with God and so God rejected him and threw him out of heaven along with all the angels who were following him. Satan had no fear of God. The Bible says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Just the beginning. There is so much more that happens after the ‘beginning’. After the garden. After the ‘ouch, that hurts’. Let Satan be the example of what we shouldn’t do!
The ignorant days.
In those days I didn’t know how I could have a relationship with God that was ‘alive and real’ through Jesus. They don’t teach you that in the Catholic church. Not the ‘how to’ part. The ‘alive’ happens when you ask Jesus to live in your heart and become your Lord and Saviour and the ‘real’ happens after that. That’s the cleaning up part. After the ‘forgive me for messing up part.’
The sin stains.
You said to come as we are. The ugly us would do. The dread we are apart from You. The spotless we are with You. And all I want is to be used by You. This You know. You know. And I grieve in my hands, the lost years, the wasted time, my face red and wet from tears of discipline and rebuke, even now. Oh, how You must love me! The tears You collect. The ocean of me You call me to walk on.
And so, my heart hangs on God’s clothesline. I bet there are clotheslines in heaven like the one in my back yard when I was a kid. I still smell the Clorox on my mother’s hand when she turns my cheek and kisses me good morning at the breakfast table. I long for her gentle on my face. How I love the smell of Clorox. The clean.
God is like Clorox.
And I still hear the squeak of the rolling out and the pinning up of socks and towels. Early Sunday mornings usually. After church usually and before the meatballs and gravy get cooking. It’s GRAVY. And the worst part is over for the clothes. The going ‘round and ‘round in the washing machine. Like you and me going ‘round and ‘round with God until we surrender to the clothespins.
I bet all the wrung out hearts are clothes-pinned up there on heaven’s clothesline where all the humbled hearts hang. And the breath of God is blowing sweet and holy on them, bending them in heaven’s air.