The prayer cottage.
A place to go and sit before the Lord in prayer and supplication. Small and welcoming.
But in this season the prayer cottage for this sinful soul, is one of the heart. My heart.
And this dwelling place needs dusting off.
Spring cleaning is needed in this place.
The get out the rubber gloves, the bucket of cleaning supplies, the harsh abrasive cleaning products and start with the baseboards kind. A fresh coat of white paint and crisp linen curtains, exteriors would make this little prayer cottage look clean and white and prepared for prayer.Externals. Superficial tending to will allow her to appear to be dressed in her Sunday best. Ready for visitors. Those in need of what she offers.
Freshly planted window boxes dripping with color, vibrant and showy take the eye off the truth, place it squarely on the exterior and the shell, the mask. The outer.
But changing externals does just that. It doesn’t get down to the muck and the dirt, the soiled and the sin. When what needs changing is a rewiring, a change in the fundamentals, the foundation. The beating heart that pumps the blood. The place of life. And all of lifes joy and pain.
Just as the Easter finery and freshly polished nails can cover what lies within.
These heart places which need to be released of unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, distrust, disappointment need cleansing. They need to be washed in the blood. A paradox. Cleaned by blood. White by blood. The envy, jealousy, scraped off the walls of the heart and dumped in the trash, put on the curb, and carried off. For good.
These dirty corners here in the dwelling place of the soul, the hearts yuck ,need to come clean. Room inspection is required, the looking under and over and around for all that is ugly and unpleasing to the One who made me.
We huddle over His word and with furrowed brow wrestle with forgiveness, the word. The meaning. God’s description and desire for us in this realm. God’s heart. We process the weight of its importance to Him. We discuss the kind thats all out, no holes barred. The no holding on to any of it. The surgically removing every cell of this cancer. And the gift that comes with walking it out, forgiveness. Put words on what it bears and brings to the abundant life.
Hundreds of years of life huddle over the word, in one room in one house on one night. Many of us contributing a half century or more of life to the count.
And its still there, the weight of forgiveness and unforgiveness. And we still seek His Grace and His Mercy. We still want to receive it and offer it. Offer it, give it–grant it.
I still need to jump off and jump in. I need Hope as a life jacket, and Grace as a buoy marking my way on this sea. And Mercy charting the maps around the rocks and the sandbars. I want nothing in the way of this path to the cross.
“The Cross was the place where God and sinful man merged with a tremendous collision and where the way to life was opened. But all the cost and pain of the collision was absorbed by the heart of God.” — Oswald Chamber, “My Utmost For His Highest”
Lord, blow sweet and gentle winds of forgiveness into the sails of this ship. And take me into the pitch and toss of seas safely to the harbor of your Love and Grace.
Merciful hands of God, Merciful touch of God, Abundant Life-Giver God.
I thank you for your Cross.