Monday, May 13, 2013

When hands bleed

Like most overly pious people, I like to tell myself that I'm not attached to 'stuff.' It feels other-worldly and spiritual to renounce trivial possessions. 

Then my stuff break.

And I shed tears.

Memories of Christmas morning with my Nannie, opening the box I knew was just for me. It was a ritual between us. These carousel horses. Every year, a new horse with a new song.

I climb the stairs with a heavy heart after Gwennan complains that Afton broke her favorite carousel. I know what this means. It's not just her favorite carousel; it's my favorite. The music box memory of Nannie that I wanted to share with my little girls

And there are their hands and feet stained with tiny smears of blood from trying to clean up their own mess. Shards of evidence buried in the carpet. Glitter and broken glass embedded in quilts and stuffed animals. A stack in the hallway where they wanted to hide their shame, remove it from the scene.

My heart breaks, and my eyes leak as I wash skin, checking for slivers. Wash carpet, checking for slivers. Little pieces of their disobedience lying in wait to pain them again.

The end result: pile of broken glass.

Picture of our sin. All sharp edges. Wounding us over and over as we run circles around the mess we made trying to fix it ourselves.

But this mess needs experienced hands. Fingers that know how to pick up the shards. Fingers that will be cut by our sin, cleaning up the remnants of their own broken treasure.

For he was pierced for our transgression...

He was crushed for our sins...

By his wounds we are healed.

Disobedience breaks God's world, God's order, God's heart, God's relationship with his favorite creation.

And cuts our hearts to pieces, slivers of sin piercing deep and leaving rivers of blood. Slivers of our sin lying around waiting to cut us again.

Then he comes, perfect unstained hands picking up all those pieces in his own skin. Wiping clean our bloody stains. Perfectly gentle and patient with those who deserve the blood and pain. He runs his hands over the wake of our disobedience, leaving nail-shaped scars.
Blood and tears. The price of relationship. The cost of sharing.

I could keep memories packed up, out of reach, safe from damaging forces. But they would never share those memories. Never see the memory of Nannie spinning slowly, plinking out a lullaby.

I could keep my heart packed up, out of reach, safe from rebellion and dishonesty. All those child sins that break momma's heart over and over. But they would not see forgiveness and grace, love from their momma.

I could hide my sin, bury it deep in dark shadows, safe from exposure, conviction. But I would never see the bleeding hands of a savior picking up the shards, taking the pain himself.

The break is good. The shatter a glory. To see the beautiful work of the cleaning.

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