Here's a simple experiment you can do at home.
Take a clean, white dress shirt; one that is spotless, preferably just bought. Now take another dress shirt (doesn't have to be white), and pour some grape juice on it. In fact, douse it in the grape juice, and then add a little potting soil. Take this soiled shirt and spread it out on the floor. Now take some pepper, don't put it on the shirt, though. Sniff some of the pepper until you're ready to sneeze. Then sneeze on the shirt.
The shirt can now be considered sufficiently dirty. You wouldn't wear it to dinner and you certainly wouldn't wear it to church (I don't think, anyway).
Now get the white shirt; the clean white dress shirt. Take that clean white shirt and lay it on top of the dress shirt you just dirtied. Make sure the two shirts are touching, press down on the clean shirt if you so desire.
After a few minutes, lift the clean white dress shirt off of the shirt that has been severely abused. Is the clean white dress shirt white anymore? Well, even if you didn't carry out the instructions for this experiment, I think you know the answer to that question. The white dress shirt is now stained, contaminated by the soiled shirt. And on top of that, the soiled dress shirt isn't clean. It has remained horrific to look at and unwearable.
This principle holds true in all things. Add dirt to water and the dirt doesn't become clean; the water becomes dirty. Eat a lot of French fries and the body becomes damaged; the fries don't become healthy to eat. Yell at a child in anger, and your heart doesn't turn nice. No, the child becomes injured.
This principle holds true in all things, except one.
All of us have sinned; done wrong, offended others, broken God's law, broken man's law (yes, speeding is breaking the law). We've all lied. We've all murdered in our hearts (ever get cut off by someone who drives 15 mph under the speed limit when you're rushing to a movie?) Oh, some sins seem smaller than others. I'd rather have you give me dirty look than take a swing at me. But in the eyes of God, no sin is small.
In the eyes of God, every sin stains the shirt, so to speak.
So what happens when a perfect man, the Son of God, touches an earth stained with selfishness, war, doubt, and rebellion? What happens when the undefiled touches the defiled? Well, in this case, the dirty becomes clean! The soiled shirts of our lives (whether stained beyond recognition, or just dirty enough to be too embarrassing to wear), become clean. The clean makes the dirty clean.
When heaven touches earth, things no longer function as normal. The expected becomes the miraculous. Despair becomes hope. From illness and depression come revitalization. From death comes life.
But how? How this divine reversal possible?
Because the Son of God, Divinity in the flesh, was held by no imperfection, captivated by no addiction, mastered by no sin. All of heaven's beauty was held in this man. He was, and He is, perfection manifested. He was the Divine come to earth. And when the Divine touches the lowly, it lifts, it heals, it makes right. But only on one condition. It must be received.
The gift of the Son of God must be received. It can never be earned. It will never be bought. Rejecting this gift results in tragedy. Receiving this gift results in the greatest treasure of all; relationship with God. Not religion. Relationship. And it begins with one step - receiving.
So, the Creole word at the top of this blog entry? Well, it was a word God dropped into my heart one day. Out of the blue. Netwaye. I came to find out it means clean. God was telling me I'm clean. My shirt is white and unstained. Do you want to be clean? It all starts with a simple yes; simply receiving the gift of the Son of God, the One we know as the baby in the manger.
His name is Jesus.