Mess or Marvel?

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We are trying to sell our house.  The goal is to move to a better school district and hopefully a little bigger of a house as well. 

We had our first showing last night…Have you ever tried to keep a house looking “perfect” for an hour with three children and a dog?  I literally followed the girls around picking up left-behind toys and books and coloring and crumbs only to turn around and find a trail of muddy dog prints on the kitchen floor because someone was “helping” me by letting him in. 

I am stressed by mess.  I wish it weren’t so, but it is what it is.  I wish I was more like the mother of Benjamin West, a painter around the time of the American Revolution.  As the story goes, his mother went out, leaving him in charge of his little sister, Sally.  In his mother’s absence, he happened upon some bottles of ink and began to paint Sally’s portrait.  In doing so, he made quite a mess, spilling ink and leaving blots everywhere.  When his mother came back, she saw the mess, but said nothing.  She walked over to the painting and exclaimed, “Why, it’s Sally!” and stooped to kiss him.  Benjamin West used to say, “My mother’s kiss made me a painter.” 

I love Chuck Swindoll’s take on this issue…

“Too many of us parents are far too mess-conscious to see the emerging artist.  All we see are ruined carpets, stained clothes, cluttered desks, sticky fingers–one more unpleasant task added to an already busy day.  We’re so quick to see the depravity that we’re blind to the marvel that God made and put in our care.” 

I pray God would open my eyes to the artist in my child…that the daily mess wouldn’t blind me to the marvel.  Someday I’ll know why Rae doesn’t care if her hands and clothes are a muddy, sticky mess and why Ally stressed about a stuffed animal gone missing.

God is taking these messes and making a marvel.  And I’m so lucky to have a front row seat.