I needed a haircut. My mane was getting out of control. Remember the patient in the children’s game Operation? That’s what my hair was looking like. So, at the advice of one of my daughters, before church started, I donned a hat to cover the self-willed strands. I think I remember this being inappropriate in some circles, but, my hair was probably more offensive in its current state than my hat. And I actually received compliments on the hat, which was a gift from another one of my daughters.
After service, a sweet elderly lady in our church overheard me saying what a mess my hair was and how I needed this hat to cover up the mess. Her comment was, “Don’t say that!” How sweet. I explained to her that my hair was quite disheveled underneath the neat gray hat, and that I needed to cover up the mess. Her response, “Oh … well, you’re still my mess.” I smiled at her kindness and walked away. But her comment lingered in my mind. And in my heart.
You may be a mess, but you’re my mess.
How often do we find ourselves in a situation that makes us feel like a mess? I mean, if we’re really honest, and haven’t built up walls to guard against the dangers of intimacy, won’t we admit that we all struggle with failure and weakness at times? Aren’t there points in all of our lives where we look at ourselves and say, “Honestly, I’m a mess.” Maybe you’ve never felt that way, but at the risk of being transparent, I have to admit it – I’ve felt a mess.
Yet God doesn’t love us because we are perfect. Nope. We are His mess; His lovely mess. He sees our ugly, the deep dark that no one else sees. But He still sees us as His.
I read something recently that talked about how God sees us as perfect in Jesus. When He looks at us, He sees perfection, because we are hidden away in Christ. He loves us as much as He loves His son Jesus. Jesus is perfect. We are not. Jesus completely obeyed all that God, the Father, asked of Him. We fall short. Often. Yet God, our Father, still loves us just as He loved His perfect Son.
We may be a mess, but we are still His. His mess. His desire. The object of His affection.
This can be hard to believe; difficult to accept. The economy of this world, this earthly kingdom, hardly embraces such ideas. But the future kingdom we as believers hold on to in hope is different. Where we are used to hearing, “work hard enough so that your good deeds outweigh your bad and you’ll enter the pearly gates”, the kingdom of heaven declares something completely different. In Jesus’ words, “This is the work of the Father, to believe in the One He has sent.” Belief. Faith.
We may be a mess, but we are also a work in progress. And we believe that one day, these dusty frames will be transformed and set in perfection; in perfect reflection of the One who called us. We shall be like Him. And all our mess will fall off and we shall be made new. Never to fear again, no more tears. No more death, no more taxes.
Until that day, you may be a mess. But remember - you are His mess.