I remember as a kid going over to certain homes and being 'invited in' to that front room of the house that only gets used when visitors drop by. You know the room. It's probably been dusted. But outside of that it hasn't seen much action. The furniture is always the kind that makes you sit up straight, and if you're really unlucky, the couch is covered in plastic.
I get the concept of covering a couch in plastic. It does have it's functional value. But I also wonder if deep down those covered couches are aching within their spring-filled insides because the have never really lived. (I know couches are inanimate objects - just stay with me here.)
Yes, the floral print with the white background is absent of the red ketchup stain, but what about the joyful experience of having a toddler bounce on the cushion edge with a french fry in his hand?
I've been in worship services that have felt like sitting on a plastic covered couch. I've been in 'Christian community' that has felt like sitting on a plastic covered couch.
Everything is 'protected' - just like you never feel the softness of the fabric underneath the plastic - you never feel the warmth of the believers around you.
Messes are unacceptable - just like there's no room for stains or wear and because of that the couch receives it's shroud - absent of grace, criticism and judgment abounds for the innocent mistakes believers make while walking through this life fighting hard to grow in Jesus.
Over the internet this week I was ministered to by a great guy - George Verwer - Funny enough it was John Piper who tweeted this quote by him a few days ago:
"Failure to understand how God works through clay pots...messiology."
Mr. Verwer adds in the link I've shared these words:
"There are 30,000 denominations and a couple million individual churches in the world. I call this a theology of messiology, as soon as two or three people get together there’s a mess. Yet God is able to do amazing things."
Messy clay pots. Full of treasure.
I'm ready to experience what life is like when the plastic cover is taken off. Let's rip it to shreds. Bring on the ketchup. Bring on the Kool-Aid. Bring on the mud.
He makes beautiful things out of dust.