We know what to do with our domestic garbage: set it on the curb at the appointed time and sanitation workers will take it away. What about our internal garbage—the kind that seems to increase no matter our attempts at removal?
Perhaps we think we haven’t yet exhausted all our ideas for removing the debilitating mess of resentment and unresolved grief inside us. Perhaps we think our angry tapes will simply self-destruct if we have enough patience. Perhaps we’re practicing detachment from our guilt and shame and hoping that will work.
The truth is we cannot by our own power rid ourselves of what has come between us and the Kingdom of God. We cannot set out on our spiritual curb a container of what separates us from the peace of God. Our spiritual garbage is none other than what scripture refers to as sin.
The psalmist declares that once God washes us, we become whiter than snow. The psalmist does not declare, however, that we are able to wash ourselves. If we were able to cleanse ourselves of our spiritual garbage, we might decide we had no need of God. God wants us to need him to effect the miracle of cleansing and transformation. And God wants us to participate in that miracle.
Ann Glover O’Dell
6 august 2018