I am starting a series of blogs based on a talk I’ve given about how the ordinary teaches us God’s extra-ordinary!
All around us are reminders of God’s love for each of us. He makes Himself known to us in the ordinary, seemingly mundane aspects of life. Just as Jesus taught in parables about lost coins, lost sheep, bread, water, so, too, daily objects and events from life now teach us unfathomable riches of His grace and love.
Take hand sanitizer for instance………………………
When we first arrived in Davao, Philippines, the guest house manager gave me a small bottle of hand sanitizer and small packet of tissue. “Carry these with you always. The Crs do not have tissue” she advised me. (CR [comfort room] is the Filipine term for bathroom).
And it was true. Most of the public Crs did not have tissue. And while there was probably water to wash hands with there was no soap or towels to use.
So I got in the habit of leaving the public CRs without washing and just used the hand sanitizer in my purse. After 12 years in the Philippines, it became so habitual for me to have tissue and hand sanitizer that I continued that habit once we moved to the USA in 2018. Which has come in very handy with the pandemic. Now when I leave a grocery store or public building of any kind, I sanitize my hands.
Often, while using either hand sanitizer or washing with soap and water my mind wanders to Psalm 51….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!…Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…..Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me…..
Where is my heart with God? Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to wash over me, to wash me whiter than snow?
Psalm 51:7 “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Just like this alcohol and tissue can help keep my body clean, my Father’s Word and working can create in me, in each of us who believe in Jesus, a clean heart and a right spirit.
Something very deep and mysterious, very holy and sacred, is taking place in our lives right where we are, and the more attentive we become the more we will begin to see and hear it. The more our spiritual sensitivities come to the surface of our daily lives, the more we will discover—uncover—a new presence in our lives.Henri Nouwen
1 Corinthians 6:11 tells us But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Ephesians 5:25-27 says Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish…
Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Take time to reflect on any or all of the above verses, or look up other verses that reference washing. It’s important for us as Christians to allow God’s Word to soak into our souls, for His Word is alive and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, and able to pierce to the division of soul and of spirit, discerning the thoughts and intentions of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12).
Take a few minutes to present yourself before God in silence and surrender. Allow His Word, His love to wash over you! And the next time you wash your hands, may you offer worship to Him who cleanses us from all our sins by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, our blessed Saviour (1 John 1:7).