Soapy Grace

It was a typical scenario. The eldest daughter and I cringed as we exited the bathroom stall, jazz hands extended, trying to get to the sink and out the door without adding any more germs to our bacteria-laden fingers. She maneuvered her sleeves up just enough and reached for the soap dispenser that I knew was out of her grasp. I intercepted, pumped the soap out and poured it from my hand into hers. She looked up and said, “Wow, Mom! How did you know I couldn’t reach the soap?”

“I just know.” I replied.

I just know when my kids are gross and need my help. I just know when their shoes have found the one pile of dog poop that we neglected to find in the backyard that, inevitably, ends up getting tracked into the car or house. BLEH! I just know when they haven’t washed their hands for dinner, or lunch, or at all. EEK!  I just know when they need a morning bath and an evening bath…and sometimes one in between. I just know.

What I realized that day, what I’m still realizing, is what I just. don’t. know. about my own funk. I got a picture though…and it was beautiful.

That day, as I transferred soap from my hand to my daughter’s hand, I saw the Lord’s instead. And into my hands He was pouring gobs of gooey, soapy grace. As my first born and I lathered up and scrubbed that soap into our fingernails, I saw myself, standing at that sink in my daughter’s place. My hands covered, more than that, my entire body covered with dirt and bacteria—my sin that was seen and unseen, obvious and microscopic. There I stood, covered in selfishness and pride, anxiety and jealousy, doubt and fear and more, so much more.

It wasn’t those cringe-worthy things I knew I had done that came as a surprise. It was the other smelly stuff I had somehow stepped in along the way that was overwhelming to see. Somehow, somewhere I had walked right into a mess of sin; it was stuck to the bottom of my shoe and I was tracking it everywhere with me. It was stinking up my home, my kids and husband, friends, church, plus anybody and everybody I ran into along the way. Steaming piles of selfishness, fear, judgement, and the like—yeah, those have a way of really stinking up a place.

Before I could tread one more, nasty step, I was intercepted by his cleansing, amazing Grace, an eternal supply, ready to be dispensed.

It was His kind of grace that says: You’re funky. You need this. So let’s get you cleaned up. And you can’t repay this, ever. So don’t even try. Oh and those smelly, nasty flip-flops you walked in with, yeah, I’m just gonna toss ‘em.  I bought you a new pair of shoes that are WAY more comfortable.

But there was more. His grace was forgiveness which brought peace and wisdom.

His kind of forgiveness that says:  Once that dirt has disappeared down the drain it will disappear for me too. I will never remind you of it, and I’ll never hold it against you.  This place is disgusting but you aren’t, my daughter.  You’re clean. You’re beautiful. You’re acceptable and exceptional. Ilove you AND I like you.

His kind of peace that says: I knew you couldn’t reach, and no matter how much you grow you will never reach it without me. I’m the soap dispenser. I’m the grace giver. Get off your tippy toes, stop straining and just receive what I am pouring out. You don’t have to know because I. just. know.

His kind of wisdom that says: Let me walk with you. I know which direction you should go, so ask me. I would love to help you avoid those steaming piles of crap…just sayin’.

1 Peter 1:2 God planned long ago to choose you and to make you his holy people, which is the Spirit’s work. God wanted you to obey him and to be made clean by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I pray that you will enjoy more and more of God’s grace and peace.

What does grace look like to you?

IdentityErin Arruda