Damp dishcloth in hand, I surveyed the offending marks, and noticed the little fingerprints that made up each streak. I pictured the hand of my five year old lingering on the wall as he rounded the dining room table. A little higher up, evidence of my eight year old blends in, creating a canvas of life in the design. I slowly wiped away the dirt, the wall clean once again, and considered the smudges that Jesus has wiped away for me.
Smudges that have gone into creating the person I am, some needing to be acknowledged by me before they can be cleaned, some washed immediately and prevented from leaving their residue, a gift from a merciful God. Each of us bears the evidence of many hands, some touches in love, some in anger, some in a desire to humiliate, manipulate, and control, some smudges left behind by bad decisions. Jesus stands ready, though, at the right time, to gently clean us. To wipe away the grime of the world.
I picture Him with a washcloth in one hand, His other hand lifting my chin to His face, wiping away the remnants of a life hard lived, like a mother removing the last traces of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And once again, in His presence, I am made clean.
"If my people who are called by My Name, humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14)"