For When I Need to Come Clean (Word of The Week)

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August 11, 2014 by Beth Hess

psalm51-10I stand in the shower and let the water fall. Fall. Fall.

As if that is the way to clean my heart. To right my spirit.

I have been messy. Moody. Mean-spirited even. My default setting flipped to protest anything uncomfortable or unusual. I have let people get under my skin. And then I have let them live there, festering my feelings until what oozes from me is green and gross and smells like nothing even close to grace.

And I build a shell of self-righteousness. Of pride. Of stubbornness to their stories. Because it’s the only thing that makes it Ok for me to look at my brothers and sisters as pests instead of people. Flies in my ointment.

I see their words and actions as pitiful. But give them no pity.

But as the cracks start to form, I begin to see that the wall I let myself believe was built to protect me from trifling interruptions in my comfort zone, was really more about keeping my own vulnerability at bay. Like a tortoise who hauls his hardened exterior from place to place, I fear the landing upside down, no longer showing my shell but baring instead my soft underbelly. Exposure to the elements.

I prefer to hide in that shell and look strong and tough, and like I have it all together. But I don’t. I just don’t.

So it’s time to let myself fall. Just enough to let this shatter.

So the water of mercy and grace can penetrate my heart.

Because I have to get naked before I can get clean.

Have mercy on me O, God, according to your steadfast love. According to your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin … Create in me a clean heart, O, God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Excerpts from Psalm 51)

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I return each Sabbath for a fresh Word of the Week. For the God-breathed pages to come alive in a phrase or two on which to spend a 7-day feast. To meditate upon. To use as a jumping off point for whatever other words God would have me hear during the week. I would love for you to join the Word of the Week (WOW) discussion by adding your selected verse to the comments … or reflections on any scripture reading. 

Linking with Unforced Rhythms — a wonderful community of writers who gather each Monday to share with you HERE.

And #ThreeWordWednesday HERE

 

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12 thoughts on “For When I Need to Come Clean (Word of The Week)

  1. What comes to mind for me lately is John 15:3 “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.” I love that. His very breathing out words is grace to our souls. And because he says it, we’re clean. It’s almost too good to be true…but it IS true, praise God.

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  2. It is never fun to examine our hearts and find that they need cleansing. Thank you for the reminder that it is to needed! Beautiful post.

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    • Beth Hess says:

      Fun? No, you are right, it is not. But I have come to be at least a little grateful for the messiness, for, without it, I cannot truly understand the depths of His love and grace. Thanks for coming by.

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  3. Paula Gamble says:

    Beth, I love the picture of the tortoise you share! And can I just say, “me too!” to all of this, “I prefer to hide in that shell and look strong and tough, and like I have it all together. But I don’t. I just don’t. So it’s time to let myself fall. Just enough to let this shatter. So the water of mercy and grace can penetrate my heart. Because I have to get naked before I can get clean.” It is so scary to get naked, but it is necessary for finding the connections we all need. Also, thank you for your thoughtful encouragement on my blog. Thank you for caring, friend.

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  4. Amber C. says:

    I feel a holy hush after reading these words. You just dared to bare. To begin to shatter. To confess what none of us wishes others to see. The things God can do when we strip like this, sweet friend… you are giving him space to work. And even here, you are beautiful, because you are loved and he is in you. xoxox

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  5. Simply Beth says:

    Needing to come clean? Oh yes, in so many ways. Grateful for his mercy and grace. Much love. xoxo

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  6. I’m convicted. And very present with you, Beth.

    So thankful for His endless grace.

    He knew we’d need it, yes?

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