Thursday, October 28, 2010


After many, many months I finally stopped avoiding the inevitable. Drowning in the smell of perm and hair products, I gave my name to the smiling receptionist and waited patiently in a cold, plastic chair. It must be a daunting experience for some because I was offered a beer while I waited. Declining, I decided to bide my time by calling a friend. I soon heard my name called and made my way over to a soft, comfortable chair. A plastic gown was thrown over me and after much snipping and some polite small-talk, I looked into the mirror and marveled at how I looked with what must have been 17 pounds of hair missing from the top of my head.

I still feel like a handsome devil, and I can not help but admire how sleek and how clean I appear in the mirror. This is such a good feeling that I decided I must get it done again, and much sooner next time. additionally, I gave my car a glance over today and decided my first stop once I got some free time would be to the local car wash.

It is a good feeling to be clean, to exist within clean spaces. There is a sense and air of empowerment about me, and I know others share this feeling when they are in the same clean-cut boat or wearing a freshly-laundered or newly-bought outfit. Generally, things seem to go better for us or be easier to deal with when we are feeling this empowerment. It is as if the floodgates of positivity are opened and flood over us and nothing can get us down. In all honesty, I think in this empowerment engendered by our cleanliness we tend to exude an attitude which causes positive attitudes, words of encouragement, or helpfulness to gravitate towards us.

What people are seeing, though, might not be what we think it is. I do not think people are necessarily drawn to the outfit or the hair. Sure, it is what is most noticeable at first glance, but I think others are truly educed to the aforementioned empowerment and positive attitude we project from said haircut or outfit.

In a spiritual sense, no matter how inundated with junk or how "dirty" we might feel when it comes to our own sin nature, our poor decisions, or failure to be/speak our best, there is something within us that is pure and cleaner than snow. It is imperative to feel washed over and cleansed by the ever-present spirit within us, not because we are called to always feel wonderful or perfect but because we need to feel washed and cleansed by that which is in us.

I believe in doing this and being mindful, we will find ourselves devoid of the feeling of self-conscious insecurities or that people can see what is unclean or wrong with us. Therefore when people do look to us, engaged by what they see within us, we will be able to minister to them and not shut them off in a natural effort to hide what we feel most self-conscious about. I think this is what the Scripture was after when we were commissioned to let our light shine before men: to have that "so fresh, and so clean" feeling each and every day so we can show others that we are not perfect, but He is, and in Him we are truly cleansed.

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