I would like to say that I planned on using this free time to spend memorizing the book of Ephesians or eating whole foods or doing a Crossfit workout. But nope. My agenda was to move as little as possible from my bed.
I had been ignoring an apparently large problem for about a month. My kitchen sink was progressively draining slower and slower with each use. And we use this thing a lot, my man. All of us home-schooling and home-businessing from this joint amounts to a lot of dishes. Every time I went to do a load, I could see that my pipes were clogged.
But life gets busy and the water eventually goes down, so we did what all good Yahoos do. We ignored the problem.
By Friday, though, we could see that clog had waited us out. The water was standing in the sink and going no where. So The Honey took the afternoon off to start messing with this thing.
Were you thinking a little Drano applied would knock it out? You're so precious. No, not even. We had to call in the big boys: that snake thingy majig tool.
Here was the progression of things:
1. Busting through the drywall under the sink.
2. Cutting the pipe.
3. Applying the snakey majig
4. Getting no where
5. Cussing a little
6. Rinse and repeat
So then we thought maybe the clog was bigger than we anticipated. Maybe it was deeper down into the plumbing. So we went to the basement and began cutting into those pipes to see if we could localize the thing.
Listen people, I cannot prepare you for the devilish mess that we discovered when we cut deep into the belly of the beast that was our backed up plumbing.
The stinch. The filth. That rotten filth of 11 years of grease. Lots of and lots of grease.
But you know what we found most prevalent in the line? The thing that seemed to be the agent of most of the clogging? Cascade. Cascade people. Don't let that get lost on you. The little pods of cleaner whose function is to make my dishes pristine and sparkling and clean. Gobs of it had jacked up my line.
Even after cutting the line and flushing it out. We still had to run the snake through it over and over and over again to clean that mess out. The Honey went at it from the basement up and I crammed myself under the kitchen sink to try to work my plumbing magic from the top down.
As I sat there, all hunched over, gagging a lot and saying Christian cuss words, I started thinking.
This physical mess is a picture of the spiritual mess of my life.
Ordinarily my kitchen looks okay. Not pristine, but livable. Dishes are usually done and bars are cleaned off. I sometimes mop the floor. Things have their place. But obviously those things were just appearances. The real inside workings of my home were in disarray.
And so it is with me. On the outside I might look alright to most. I read my Bible some and give a little to church. I teach Sunday School and try not to yell at my kids. I do okay. But it's all Cascade.
My spiritual heart is just like my plumbing. And God knows it. He is very acquainted with the filth in my life. The stench of sin. Deep down, I am far worse than I would have ever imagined. Jesus spoke about it when he was talking to some 'religious' people like myself:
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
As I begin to peel back my layers to investigate how deep this rotten heart goes, I come to quickly realize this job is going to take way more than elbow grease. It needs the healing hand of a Savior. The one who crafted us with his gentle care. The architect of our lives, who knows our inner being and still loves us anyway. Because here is the audacious thing: In Jesus, the God who sees all of that junk can look on us as if we are unblemished. Because Jesus willingly went into the belly of the beast for us, to conquer sin, we can be looked on by the Father as pristine. Spotless. Pure.
That, my friend, is irrational love. And that message, that gospel, good-news truth of Jesus, is the snake thingy majig to our decaying hearts. The fact that Jesus took our shame and sin and placed it on himself motivates me to clean my pipes. From the inside out. To stop fooling myself with outward appearances, but instead allow the Father to have his way in my heart.