For Christmas, my husband contacted a friend who has a cleaning business and surprised me with six months of housecleaning.
Now, before I get to my point, I need to be clear that he knows acts of service are my love language and I LOVED this gift. He recognizes that he works full time, I have multiple part-time jobs that equate to full time, and our evenings are often spent on our children’s activities. So he figured our family could be blessed by a little bit of support for a little while. He was right.
The first day she arrived, I was giddy. Here was a friend who was coming to help me with some things we just never get to. I gave her a hug, and we talked over areas that needed attention.
As I left for work, I trusted that she wouldn’t think less of me because the inside of my microwave was gross. Or that, even though our Roomba (the Christmas present I begged for a year ago) does a great job on dog hair and dust, it doesn’t mop my kitchen floor. When I came home, appliances were shinier, the house felt fresher, the floor looked less beat up.
And what surprised me a little was that, after she was at our house for a few hours that one day, I spent the next two weeks paying more attention to covering food in the microwave and wiping dust off my counter.
It’s easier to keep something clean when a friend has helped you do the hard work.
While we would have been fine without this gift, I realized this was just the kind of help I needed. And I realized that this is the kind of help we all need—spiritually.
We all need someone who will help us clean. Maybe your spiritual situation needs a light dusting and vacuuming or perhaps a deep cleaning—like my microwave. Whether you struggle with gossip or depression, addiction or joylessness, coveting or judgmentalism, maybe it’s time you reach out to a trusted friend for some help. God puts people in your life who won’t judge you because of the condition of your heart but will help you handle the mess. The one who will pray for and with you. The one who will help with tangible acts of kindness. The one who will be honest that there are some things you need to pay attention to in the next couple of days, weeks, or months.
Most of all, though, this is the person who will share the cleaning power of Jesus and his grace. Your spiritual house cleaner will remind you that Jesus washes away all your iniquity (a churchy word for injustice and wickedness and mistakes) and cleans you up from your sin.
See, it’s easy to hide the dirt and the mess, but we all need to be reminded that Jesus “loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
Now, thanks to Jesus, God only sees your radiant, clean heart.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who loves practical gifts. She asked for a Vitamix for her tenth wedding anniversary. As much as her husband offered a vacation or jewelry, she wanted a kitchen appliance.