Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dirty Dishes

*Photo Image Courtesy of  librakv via 123rf.com
"How horrible it will be for you, experts in Moses’ Teachings and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You clean the outside of cups and dishes. But inside they are full of greed and uncontrolled desires.  You blind Pharisees! First clean the inside of the cups and dishes so that the outside may also be clean."
~ Matthew 23:25-26, NOG ~

No one does it like Mom, so my children tell me.  At no time is that more notable than when I am away for work, as I was recently.  When I arrive home from trips, the kids assault me with stories about bad cooking, receiving someone else's clean laundry, or mishaps involving school.

This time, I was entertained by an anecdote by my eldest, who has mostly learned to roll with Dad's awkward way of doing Mom's work.  She told me that my husband had given her a ride to work after school on Friday.  As she often does with me, she sent him a text that she was hungry and needed a snack on her way to work.  Instead of bringing her a snack, he arrived to pick her up with a warmed serving of casserole.  The laughable part was the fork he had brought along with the food.  It was caked with baked-on food.

"Dad," she queried, "Did you rinse these dishes off before you put them in the dishwasher?"

My daughter and I laughed ourselves silly realizing that, while said fork was sterilized from having been in the heat of the dishwasher, it wasn't really "clean".  Despite a lifetime of reminders, my husband, dear helpful soul that he is, can never remember to rinse anything off before putting it in the dishwasher.  Thank God Mom was home!  The dishes would now truly be clean.

As Easter rapidly approaches, this story of dirty dishes brought to mind  the story of Jesus' very public confrontation of the Pharisees detailed in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 23.  Continually trying to trap Jesus with their questions, they are finally called out on their hypocrisy and false doctrine.  The bottom line of the Lord's "7 Woes" directed at these church leaders was that they liked to look like the big men on campus, but they were really heartless and small on the inside.  Their outward appearance was lovely, but the condition of their souls was rotten.  These Pharisees were like the fork with caked-on dirt.

In my journey as a follower of Christ, I have come to confront the Pharisee inside of me.  How many times do I like to come across as having it all together when I'm really falling apart inside?  I think I am spiritually superior because I raise children with chronic illnesses and special needs, yet I judge and lose my temper as badly as those who don't even know Jesus.  I get hung up on the rules of God and fail to share the love of God.  I am a cup that looks nice on the outside, yet has coffee stains on the inside because I haven't even taken time to get out that scratchy scrub brush and deal with the filth of my heart.

Can you relate?  Do you need to do a good interior scrubbing, rinsing and reloading to look more like Jesus?  Let's do it together!  Easter is coming!  This year, let that morning be marked by a noticeable improvement in being conformed more into the image of the One who gave everything that we might have eternal life.

PRAY:  Lord, too often I get weighed down by the duties of being a special needs parent, and I excuse the dirt that remains inside me.  Wash me clean, and make me new.  I want to look more like You and less like a cup that comes out of the dishwasher with coffee stains on the inside of it.

~ Barb Dittrich

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