I don’t like messes

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
Romans 7:18

She was a messy one. Wild stringy hair. Dirty, ill-fitting coat.

One of the needy ones.

On Thursday she said she needed condiments for her coffee. She said she’d had trouble breathing at night, and this would help her.

I said I’d look, but she insisted on showing me where. Together we went to the back of the warehouse.

I don’t like messes.

I was the mom who had designated place mats for use with play-doh. I preferred glitter to stay outside (if you send me a glittery Christmas card, I read it gratefully, but have to throw it away immediately afterwards). I had one bin for Barbie clothes; a separate bin for doll clothes.

But the problem is...

I am a mess.

Just ask my family.

I can be moody when I feel left out about a bicycle gift. I can get angry when math problem # 7 doesn’t work out. I can indulge in Hershey’s chocolate and a Dr. Pepper (maybe not even diet!) when I’m throwing a private pity party.

I don’t like messes.

So when the messy woman and I found the packets of creamer and sugar she needed, she wanted to show me her appreciation.

With a hug.
A big, messy, straight-off-the-streets hug. Ummm…

Which one of us is the messy woman?

What could I do? I hugged her back, thanks to the grace of God in the moment. I told her I’m glad I could help.

Two messy women.
Both in need of help.

Both receiving it.
To breathe better.
She—with sugar for her coffee.
Me—with grace for my prejudice.

I thank God for loving the needy ones.
For loving messes.
Every one of us.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Romans 7:24-25

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