My toddler recently got the stomach bug. Even worse, he projectile vomited all over the rug in front of a friend that was at my house for the first time. Later that day, I was giving him a bath without having first finished cleaning up all of the accidents around the house.
That’s when it hit me.
My heart was moved in that mundane moment. I care about the mess-maker. I want to work with him; to care for his exhaustion and illness before I rush to fix his mess. Of course, we will get to the mess. I wasn’t going to leave evidence of the stomach bug around my house forever. However, it’s not of the first importance to address.
Tending to the Mess Makers
What would happen if we could practice this in our own daily lives? If we could seek first to care for and attend to the needs of those that cause destruction, chaos, or mess around us? As mothers, it would change our parenting to be slower at putting out fires and quicker to see the hearts of our children. As spouses, it would change the way our marriages functioned. We would come alongside an exhausted partner before we remind them of all of the ways they might be slacking on chores. As friends or colleagues, we would be more approachable and trustworthy. People wouldn’t be afraid of being judged by the mistake they might have made. For our own hearts, how sweet it would be to first talk kindly to our soul before being quick to shame or guilt ourselves for inevitable things that we do wrong in life.
Counseling can address the mess that has been made around you and help you clean it up. You don’t have to live with it forever. However, it is important to note that the person in the messes are as valuable, if not more valuable, to attend to and get to a place of safety.
Following His Example
For those of you that follow Jesus, isn’t this how our Father in Heaven treats us? We can find hope in the fact that He cares more about us, the mess-makers, than He does about cleaning up our mess. I realized in that mundane moment I was walking on holy ground. It was more than just cleaning up a sick toddler. I was serving the mess-maker, a fellow image-bearer, before I addressed the mess he made. God sees us before He ever sees the mess our sin causes around us. I’ve personally experienced this grace freely given, and it is sweet like honey to the soul. As church-goers, we should feel encouraged to reciprocate this and find ways to welcome in even the “messiest” of people.
If you are reading this, I want you to know you matter to me. You, as a human being, matter to me. I care about your heart, pain, stress, and whatever circumstance that has led you to explore a counseling blog and website. So, know that I want to help you overcome whatever you are struggling with. Give Amy Wine Counseling Center a call at 832-421-8714 for an appointment!