My hands were black with dirt as I came in from the garage, and I headed straight for the shower, after telling my son I was sure there were 10 spiders in my hair.
Perhaps an exaggeration, but I couldn’t help but have the creepy-crawlies after sweeping that many spider webs out of the corners.
The garage had been driving me crazy for months, so I tackled it. In several hours of hard work, I had the freezer defrosted, a huge mound of stuff taken to the church garage sale, shelves tidied, and floor swept.
As I swept the last pile of dirt into the dustpan, my thoughts went to the comments of two women I had heard from the day before.
One was a young mom almost despairing of what possible good purpose wiping snotty noses and mopping the floor could be doing in this dark world.
One was an empty nest mom who was struggling to find the why in doing housework without the children around.
I had been trying to find ways to encourage these two friends but was having trouble.
Why toilets and sweeping and laundry and dishes –the same day after day?
Looking around at my now gloriously clean garage, I thought of the expression, Cleanliness is next to godliness, but this time I gave it serious consideration.
Is cleanliness next to godliness? If so, why?
Will you allow me to entertain a yes to that question and throw out some reasons why the job of keeping things clean is a holy activity?
Five Reasons Why Cleaning Matters:
1. The good news of Christ is that the dirty can be made spotless. The black-as-night heart can be made white as snow. Every time we clean our homes we show ourselves and our families and every guest that redemption is a possibility.
2. The good news of Christ is that chaos can be brought into order. Our lives were a disaster until Christ came in and swept out the corners and sets things right. Every time we neatly put things away in a cupboard or fold a towel with corners matching we mimic what God can do in the human heart.
3. The good news of Christ is that we are invited into the kingdom of light. Every time we dust an end table we admit that light reveals everything. Every time we clean a window we express an awareness of the goodness and warmth that light brings.
4. The good news of Christ is that he came to serve us, to give us life. Every time we clean we serve those who enter our homes. We demonstrate how important they are to us.
5. The good news of Christ is that our troubled hearts can find peace in him. Every time we clean we create an environment of comfort and peacefulness, a refuge from a messy world. We say, as Christ did to us, Come. Rest.
Keeping a shiny home is mundane work that seldom receives accolades, but it is important for more than just meeting health department standards or for gaining your mamma’s approval.
A clean house preaches a sermon of hope.
So grab a broom, sister. It matters.
As for me, I have a smelly toilet ring to tackle.
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