Although God has a dwelling place on earth, it is not a temple with great adornments. It is not a cathedral with an awe-inspiring ceiling. It is not even a standard Protestant church with a discreet steeple. And it’s not a plain building with a fancy name.
No, it is none other than the human heart. Are you surprised? You think God stays at the church when you go home? When the Lord says:
we do not think it’s a literal door made of wood. We say, it’s the ‘door of our heart’.
Jesus is not a home invader. He can only be invited in. But maybe we are not ready for him. It’s a mess in here, come back later, Lord. But he does not care. He wants to be with you. He doesn’t evaluate your dwelling beforehand.
He knows your place is a fixer-upper. He has seen worse. He doesn’t care. He is there to improvement your life. But he doesn’t start with that. No, he wants to sit down and have dinner with you. Even if it’s Chinese take-out. He is there for the company, your company.
But I am not worthy for you to stay with me, Lord. I need to fix things up. Go ahead, he says, I will help. Do you want suggestions? That stack of magazines can go. I was just thinking of taking them out to the trash, you say. When you return, there is a new rocking chair in that place.
He is not there to make you feel guilty. He is there to help you feel clean. He wants you to have a clear conscience. Look, I am going up to clear out the attic, he says. You do what you think best down here.
But that attic is full of a lot of old worthless junk! I know, he says, we are not going to let the past hold you back.
Later, he says, I’ve been looking at your record collection. Do you think something more hope-filled could be better? It’s a rather depressing catalog. It is, you say, I used to be depressed a lot. I don’t feel that way, so much, now that you’re here.
What do you say to better food in your refrigerator? We can have a diet of better things. Yes, you say, I’ve been chewing on guilt and envy too long. What about mercy and pure love? he asks. That does sound better, you say.
Lord, when I would lay down, my mind was full of worry and frustration. Now, that you are here, my sleep is peaceful.
Lord, I had my doubts when you knocked on my door. Now, I have no doubts. In fact, faith has replaced doubt. The order you have brought allows me to have a clear conscience. Light fills my rooms now that we have brushed away cobwebs and cleaned the dirty windows.