Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Learning to be made

A house full of triplets comes quickly undone so there are always lessons in teamwork being taught ‘round here… navigating through the bathroom in harmony, bringing plates and cups to the sink after meals and making beds before heading off to school.  But six year olds aren’t quite up to snuff on the finer points of making a bed, so they “unmake” theirs instead.  Pillows, stuffed animals and tickle blankets must land in a neat pile on the floor so Mom can quickly do the harder task of straitening sheets and smoothing quilts while teeth and hair are brushed.
Matt, first born by a minute, has perfected the art of sleeping under his covers in a state of near immobility.  I find the layers of cotton and fleece still lined up, neatly folded over where my hands smoothed them as I tucked him in the night before.  30 seconds to pull the sheet and comforter up and fold it down again.  Done before you can say “classic type A personality.”

Josh, second-born at the heel of his brother, has perfected the art of cocooning himself tight within his nightly nest, spinning and spinning til all the threads of his covers are woven snug round his body.  I know with certainty that a 3-layer tangle requiring a nutpick to unfurl awaits me.  Some days starting from scratch is the only option as he has so completely wrenched things out of order that the mattress itself hangs off its foundation.  Nowhere near done before you can say “classic marcher to a different drumbeat.”

While passing the boys’ room last week, I sorted through the morning routine in my mind.  2 beds, wildly different at dawn, but ultimately tamed, once a mother’s hand pressed in.  One required little smoothing, but attention was needed nonetheless.   The other required much attention, but it was never so wrecked that I couldn’t put it right.  And then the whisper...  Aren’t we all like morning beds before the Lord?  A place made for resting in Him, now knotted and unraveled from the day’s trundling, waiting for strong hands to come and remake us?

Some of us, the type-A ones, try our best to keep the sheets in perfect uniformity, striving to live that “neat as a pin” life.  But ultimately, we still have tempers that need smoothing out, motives that need straitening, low thinking that needs pulling up and bad habits that need folding down.  There’s no way to live in a fallen world and not need a touch from the Father’s hand.  But we’re not to worry.  Jesus paid a dear price to gift us our grace and when we embrace His sacrifice, we honor Him and the One who loves us fresh each day. 

Others of us have beds with layers so jumbled and foundations so dislocated that understanding how to get it back on track seems impossible.  But we’re not to be  discouraged.   There’s wisdom in realizing this utter lack of offering.  That’s what brings a mangled life to grace.  It’s the seeing that no matter how wrecked the bed, the Father’s love for the child will bring His strong, gentle hands alongside…hands that strip away the mess if needed, reposition the life on a solid foundation and deftly remake what has been so completely unmade.

Isn’t it just like the Lord to take a simple slice of life, the mundane task of making beds, and use it to call up a much deeper foundational truth?  One glimpse of those beds and I’m reminded that before I came to Him, I was a Romans 3:10 girl; “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one…” And then one whisper of the Spirit and I’m lifted to Ephesians 2:8;  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

 What joy, to know that I’m not asked to achieve perfection according to my insufficient effort!  What gladness, to know that I’m never too ruined to be repaired!  What peace, to feel accepted now, because of a scarlet white covering spread wide over my life, tucked firmly there by a finished work not of my own laboring.  I rejoice that He restored in love what was mangled by sin.  And I thank Him that the real task isn’t about learning to make a life, but rather learning to let my life be made by Him.  
What life-slices has the Lord used to show you His love and gift of grace? 
How have you shared these foundational truths with your children lately?

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