I can’t believe I am showing you this disgusting picture of our old dishwasher. Literally, we tried every product on the market and talked to several plumbers in our effort to get rid of the slime. But nothing worked! It got so bad and so useless I tried to avoid opening it, as if not seeing it would mean it wasn’t there! Of course, out of sight out of mind doesn’t work with a dishwasher because that just left me with an endless stream of dishes piled up on the counter and filling the sink.
Thankfully the problem is resovled now. Not in the way I had originally wanted. But boy do I love our new sparkling dishwasher for more reasons than one (and am happy to offer recommendations based on my obsession with the added 3rd basket; you’ll have to message me or comment for more info on that!) .
During the last couple weeks we were dealing with the old dishwasher I was hit by the thought that my heart is just like it on the inside! Now you might not think so, but you wouldn’t have known how bad my dishwasher was either from the outside. The truth is in the same way I tried to avoid seeing what was in the dishwasher, I do with my heart too. Only I don’t always realize that’s what I’m doing.
Leave it to my girl though to expose my heart’s “dirt.” Isn’t that how it normally happens? God puts other people in our lives as sanctifying agents to help us see what is true! For our good.
So this summer when she was home during the same bad “dishwasher” weeks, I was busy stressing over a new manuscipt deadline. I felt out of control and overwhelmed, struggling to stay afloat, which causes me to grasp even harder for control. I tend to think, “if I do this, and check that off my list” I’ll get to a better place and be okay. To some degree that is true. But when I get in this mindset anyone or anything that interfers with my agenda is a hinderance. Sadly, that is just how my daughter felt.
The worst thing about it though is she had every right to feel that way because I wasn’t loving her well. My lack of control was ruling me and all I could think about was ME. That’s how selfish and self-centered I was! My work was more important than my time with her. And I was living as if I could be my own “savior” doing everything that needed to be done; modeling to her my own sufficiency and not my need of Christ. Ewwwww. Yuck!
Through our conversation she challenged me to see that in keeping my sin, struggles & emotions locked up as I often do, what she sees is a mom who has it all together. And this makes her think I surely can’t relate to all her struggles because I just sail through life. Ha! Exactly why she often chooses to talk – really talk – to her dad over me because he too lives life way more vulnerable than me (if you know him, you know he is much more of an open book).
Hearing what she said was hard. In my mind I am open; I write a blog afterall. I even talk about vulnearbility and identification. But still I can gloss over and totally miss the mess of what’s really going on in my heart.
To show anyone what’s yucky inside our hearts is hard because we fear rejection and judgment. So most of us, including me, keep the door to our dirty dishwasher hearts closed. What’s so ironic though- is it is only when we live out of our brokenness and need that others see we can identify with them in their muck and mess. And it is only in knowing our weakness that who Christ is for us becomes more beautiful.
I see this in my daughter (and my husband, too) and know it is why so many people confide in her. What’s funny is I think she tries to be more like me when really I’m the one who needs to be more like her.
This then is my prayer: For God’s grace to take everything I know, write and say to be true, and pierce my heart with it so I will stop trying to whitewash over the self-sufficiency and pride, and the desire for control (the sin) and have the courage to open the door to see it for what it is. And even then, just like we couldn’t ever solve the problem with our old dishwasher but needed a new one, the only solution to the depth of my dirty heart was met in Jesus who left his throne in heaven to come to earth to give people like me a new heart. So though I still sin, God sees me according to the righteousness of Christ! Praise be to God!