As the flowers bloom and the temperatures move back into the 60’s and 70’s, dust pans come out of the closet, yellow rubber gloves placed on the hands of willing participants and the cleaning supplies take their rightful spot around the house. Spring is in full swing, and what accompanies spring better than a yearly cleaning fest. That’s right; I’m talking about spring cleaning.
With classes ending in less than three weeks, spring cleaning is about to hit the ORU dorms. Here, we call it end of year check-out. As we move out of the dorms for the summer, every piece of paper, every acquired trinket and every personal item must be moved out. Some are packed away into storage to await the dawn of a new semester; others are placed outside dorm rooms, hoping some unaware freshman will keep the trash as treasure. Still others are donated to the large ministry trucks parked in lower-lot. After everything is moved out, the cleaning commences: furniture dusted, carpet’s vacuumed, window blinds wiped and trash cans washed.
The process of our spring cleaning, although exhausting, is in its own way cathartic. It is a means of getting rid of the stuff that holds us back. The chicken-scratch pictures from our siblings, the random “token of affection” from the girl next door, the strange home-made food from our well-meaning relatives: these things no longer guilt us into keeping them. We experience freedom in letting go in wiping the dust from old seasons and downsizing into a more manageable life.
This April is my last Spring Cleaning at ORU, and I have already started the process of letting go of my possessions. But during this season, God is not only simplifying my life, He’s simplifying my spiritual walk with Him.
When I first came to salvation in Christ, I had this immense clean feeling. He had made me cleansed, whole and free. Yet while walking this journey of faith, I’ve noticed at times spiritual dust creeps onto my feet. I add works onto the free gift of salvation, and then feel condemned that my works are not good enough. It’s a gradual move away from the freedom in Christ to the clutter of performance. All the spiritual dirt makes it hard to live life well.
In those moments of feeling cluttered, Jesus gently comes to me, towel around His waist and kneels down. I see my reflection in the water-filled basin at His side. My feet in his hands, he speaks softly to me: “You are righteous. You are valuable. You are pure.” Each toe emerges from the crystal clear water clean. In that moment remains simplicity reminiscent of my first conversion experience. I release the clutter of faith and simply spend time with the Savior.
The beautiful thing about this picture of Jesus is that it isn’t a once a year deal. Jesus is always willing to bring us to that place of cleanliness. Have any doubts? Ask the leper in Luke 5. He says, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus responds: “I am willing, be made clean.”
Today as you are sitting in your house, looking around at the clutter you intend to rid yourself from this Spring, I would encourage you to take a moment and let Jesus do the same for you. Let him kneel before you and wash your feet of the dirt along the journey. Let him cut out the clutter we attach to our journey. Let him remind you of your righteousness and value. It will bring you back to that place of beautiful intimacy with Him. He says, “I am willing. Be made clean.”
By: Mary Elisabeth Harp
ORU Student Publications and Media – Perihelion Yearbook