Dirty Hands

It was like a young boy’s paradise, that salvage yard in Northwest Oklahoma. He had a bag of tools and acres of cars that he could take apart just to see how they worked.  Most of his projects didn’t have to work again after he finished because they were destined for the crusher.  Ever now and then his Grandad would let him work on something that wasn’t going to be destroyed but only with supervision. No boy had it any better and when he got hungry all he had to do was go to the house where Grandma was waiting to fix him a feast. Yes, it was perfect except for one thing. Grandma didn’t like dirty hands. “Grandma, these hands are stained from hard work and washing them won’t change that.” The boy would always protest but to no avail because Grandma would reply, “The skin can grow back but the dirt is coming off! You’re not sitting at my table with dirty hands.” Then under water hotter than the fires of hell his hands were held until Grandma had brushed all the stains away with soap and water.  While his hands were being cleansed the boy was squirming, moaning, sometimes bleeding, always wishing he’d tried a different approach but always submitting to the cleansing because of hunger.  Then with sparkling clean and somewhat reddened hands the boy and his Grandma would sit down and wait for Grandads arrival.  Eventually the sound of a 1948 Chevrolet Business Coupe was heard coming up the drive and all the pain was replaced with laughter as he, Grandma and Grandad sat down to enjoy the meal that somehow remained hot and delicious during all the waiting.  It’s been a long time since I was a boy playing in Grandad’s salvage yard.  Life has left it’s share of stains on me that have had to be scrubbed off from time to time.  Allowing the blood of Jesus to purify our hearts often comes with God’s discipline, because like a loving Father He seeks to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. I believe the waiting is the worst part because but I’m waiting for the return of my Lord and Savior.  While we wait there are more mistakes being made that must be dealt with and daily humbling so that the Lord many lift us up in due time.  One day, however, the sky will roll back and the Lord shall descend, and mourning will turn to laughter as we sit down at the wedding feast of the lamb for all eternity.  The hardest part is submitting to the fact that only if Jesus removes the dirt can we sit at the table. I think I forgot to mention that my brother and sister were with me at Grandma’s house and they had to wash their hands according to Grandma’s standards as well.  We wash together, wait together, mourn together, so that one day we may rejoice together before the throne of God.  (Read James 4:7-12) 

Published by lstarbuck


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