Our house is a beautiful mess. One week into unpacking our new home, there is a damaged computer in the basement, a toilet plunger in the kitchen, and windows-sans-curtains everywhere so that the neighbours have a good chance to check out exactly who they are dealing with (I try to be modest, but I sure ain’t timid.)

I call it home.

Outside there is a war going on between Old Man Winter and the combined forces of the rest of nature. For those of us in south-central Alberta this means ice, mud, slush, and windshield washer fluid that is more expensive than a pint of prohibition moonshine.

Spring is here, and we greet it with a smile and a happy sigh.

imageGazing into the mirror, everything I see suggests that my inner life reflects both my home and the weather: better suited to a Walmart carpet runner than the hoity-toity red version at the Oscars. My work boots have a longer life than my spiritual resolutions. In turns I am tired, rested, fickle, steadfast, guilty and free.

The mess of my life won’t be obvious on Sunday morning, when I go to church. My youngest daughter will strongly suggest that I am more handsome when I wear a tie, and the odds are good that I will succumb to her feminine wiles. I’ll probably floss, and put on a pair of clean undergarments. I’ll pop a couple tick-tacks and we’ll enter the fray with a smile and a firm handshake.

It’s not all an act. Honest.

Lately it’s been getting more difficult to see past my mess. There are moments when it feels I’m drowning in a sea of overlooked details, oversized responsibilities and undercooked faith.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Then relax. When Jesus was here he enjoyed hanging out with people like you, whether it was at a party or on a crucifix. He’s not going to abandon us now. If I were to paraphrase the thief who died on a cross next to Jesus, I’d say, “I don’t know what you’re doing here with the likes of me, but I need you.”

And Jesus would say, “I’m telling you the truth: today you will be with me in paradise.”

We constantly hear voices that tell us that Jesus came for someone else. Someone cleaner, someone dirtier, the saints, the sinners, anyone but us. Anyone but me. Anyone but you.

But it’s a lie.

Whatever your mess is – big or small – it has the ability to put you right where Jesus wants you- next to him in life and death… and Life.

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