Whenever I am invited over to a house I am always reminded of the times when my family had the priest over for dinner. I remember how special it was that Father so and so was going to be sitting at our table. I also remember how much work it could be as well. While the visit itself was fun, the preparation for the priest’s visit was a different matter. Growing up in a family of seven, our house was not the most organized. This meant that afternoons were spent with every child’s favorite past time: chores and cleaning.
On the day of Father’s visit, all hands were on deck to make the house presentable. As the hours ticked by, my siblings and I used every trick we knew to excuse ourselves from the task at hand (much to the frustration of my parents), until time inevitably began to run out.
With plenty of toys and hobbies still spewed throughout the house, my Mother would give one final desperate command: “throw everything in the bedroom”! It was an easy, efficient, and effective solution. When Father arrived he walked into a clean and put together household. Little did he know that behind a certain closed door lay a chaotic mess.
I am sure many families share this particular experience (which is why I don’t go opening closed doors during visits), but all of us can also relate on a personal level as well. How many of us do exactly this in our interior life? How many of us, worried about the mess in our emotional, spiritual, physical house, throw it all into a hidden room of our heart? How many of us hide our mess even from God?
I know I do. I want people to see me as an organized, well put together person. In a strange way I even want God to see me in this way. So I hide my mess, I stressfully gather it all up and throw it in a separate room to be dealt with later. The problem is, I often do not deal with it later and I keep piling the mess even higher. Even more ironic, it’s the houses that are not the most organized which make me feel right at home, partly because it makes it all more human.
God did not become man in the person of Jesus Christ because we are organized and put together. God became man because we are a mess. The more we hide our mess from him the less he can help us truly clean up. So I guess the question is: what mess are we hiding from God?