I don’t have a mop so cleaning our kitchen floor involves me getting on my hands and knees with a cloth and hot water. I don’t actually think a mop would be good enough to do the work. I have to do some pretty hefty scrubbing. You see, our toddler is in the throw-food-everywhere phase. It comes out of nowhere… flying porridge… flying defrosted blueberries… and tonight: flying sunflower-butter and jam bread. He’s fast. One second the food is going into his mouth… then a split second later it’s being over-arm pitched across the room.
So tonight I cleaned the kitchen floor. I scrubbed the floor, the side of the cabinet, the high chair seat, the chair the seat is attached to. Scrubbed and scrubbed.
Result? It doesn’t look clean at all. It looks like I’ve never cleaned it. But only if you didn’t know what it looked like an hour ago. If you were here an hour ago you’d be amazed at the difference.
A few years ago my friend had an alcohol binge. He had been clean and sober for a while. But then he went missing. The next day he called his room mates to say he was safe and fine apart from a raging headache. I was so sad. What had happened?! He seemed to have been doing so great… really moving forward into life and really growing in his walk with God.
In those days I was being mentored by an awesome humble gifted pastor. I shared with him how sad I was for my friend. His response was a total surprise to me and a much-needed correction.
“You think he’s failed. But failed what? Failed in YOUR eyes. Failed YOUR standards. But you don’t know how far he’s come. Compared to you, he’s come a very long way. Compared to him, you are barely growing. This is why judging is so dangerous. You cannot and must not judge people on what you see today. You have no idea what yesterday was like.”
The LORD doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Tonight my floor reminds me of that experience. Reminds me to pray for God’s eyes to see people with. Only He knows what the floor of our lives looked an hour ago. Praise God He knows how far we’ve each come! Thank God He gives us the mercy, grace, strength, forgiveness, healing, restoration, cleaning, freedom, joy, hope, vision… to keep on going and growing.
Tonight my floor also pushes me to want growth for my child. I’m looking forward to the day he stops throwing so much food. And I think we all yearn to grow beyond the struggles we have today. Keep growing us and transforming us Holy Spirit!
How about you? How’s your spiritual floor looking these days? How’s your judgement of other people? What has God been speaking to you about lately?
Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 42, 43; Luke 23:1-25