I'm not a fan of messes. Of dirt or mud. Of paint. Of Cheerios covering my kitchen floor. Pretty much anything that has to be cleaned up, I have little interest in dealing with.
As a pre-k and kindergarten teacher, I dealt with messes all of the time. It forced me out of my cleanliness-comfort-zone, if you will. Paint and glitter and marker marks and paper and activity center toys. All over the place just waiting to be cleaned up or put back in their places.
When I married The Husband, I found that I had to deal with other kinds of messes. I think most ladies know where this is going. Socks and underwear left in odd places. Dirty dishes left in the sink (I'm ok with this now) or on the table. Towels and wash cloths left on the floor (he's much better about this one. Well, towels, anyway.).
Then, we started having children. The messes continued. Cloth diapers and spit-up and bibs (and children) covered in food. With Jack now using the potty consistently, I have the absolute joy of cleaning up urine off the seat five and six times a day. There was only a tiny bit of sarcasm embedded in that sentence. Minuscule really.
This boy loves to play in dirt and gravel and grass and mud. He likes to get sweaty and stinky. None of which I normally would enjoy.
His favorite outside game of late is the "run, run, run, run, run, run, stop!" game we started playing a few days ago. It's exhausting. He loves it and asks to do it every time we're outside.
He likes to draw with markers and get marker on his hands and face, and he likes to paint with vivid paints while requesting them by color (he knows/says them all by name except pink) and getting paint all over the table and his smock and his arms.
And, once I start doing these things with him, forgetting my desire for cleanliness and order, I find that I start to enjoy them, too. I start to see the beauty in the sweat and the laughter and the dirt and the picture and the smiles.
*Even if I end up smelling nasty as a result.*
I think that's what God looks at, too. I think he sees beyond the mess, the chaos, the disorder and really looks upon the person in the midst of it all. His child.
I'm glad He no longer sees a sin-covered mess of a girl when He looks at me. I'm glad He sees the beauty of Christ in me (even when I'm stinking at being Christ-like) because His son has covered me and made me like new.