Yard Hose Theology
March 13, 2009 § 1 Comment
The other day I washed my Jeep (you know… the lonely vehicle in the snowy church parking lot. Hint: look one post down). Amazingly it was only a week after 6-8 inches of snow fell in the area. So on a beautiful, 70-degree, sun-soaked day, I spent a couple hours in shorts and a t-shirt on the very driveway we had cleared of snow (bundled in full winter garb) just seven days before. A chill has since returned – it seems winter’s last gasp.
That first car washing of the year comes with the annual regimen of reconnecting the hoses and reengaging the water. During the winter months the water flow to the outdoors faucets is cut off – the threat of burst pipes during a hard freeze too risky (and expensive) a proposition to neglect doing so. However the process is painless and the time needed, minimal.
With the fresh flow of water come good things. Salty roads, sidewalks and vehicles are relieved of the ugly reminders of icy months. The fact that we can access water again brings the ‘feel’ of warmth.
Reconnecting to God has its correlations. With our own demons, skeletons, daily struggles with sin and personal failures come cold seasons that leave us feeling ugly, unconnected and in need of a washing that only Jesus brings.
The scriptures call the process ‘Repentance’ and the cleansing, ‘Forgiveness,’ clearly promising that if we ‘confess’ God will forgive (1 John 1:9), only to discover that He is a Father who does not ‘treat us as our sins deserve’ (Psalm 103:10). Like with the first hose usage in the spring, initially it all seems so daunting – to come to God, disconnected, broken, ashamed and fear-filled – to admit sin, to acknowledge guilt and to take responsibility – but Jesus accepts our approach gently and with compassionate embrace.
Unfortunately, clean as my Jeep looked after the washing, every ding and dent remained, serving as reminders of my sloppy parking. Yet even in that reflection there is something unspeakably sweet about the fact that until Jesus makes all things new, the Father fully receives us, dings and all, with delight and compassion, when we flee to Him. No physical rinse compares with the relief an unfinished Christ-follower experiences upon tasting God’s Forgiveness.