Look on me with a heart of mercy, O God, according to Your generous love. According to Your great compassion, wipe out every consequence of my shameful crimes. Thoroughly wash me, inside and out, of all my crooked deeds. Cleanse me from my sins. For I am fully aware of all I have done wrong, and my guilt is there, staring me in the face. (Psalm 51:1-3 VOICE)
Singer and song writer Natalie Grant has a new song out entitled "Clean". One word which implies so very much - each of us realizing just how much being "clean" can be so dramatically different for each one. There are just a couple of lines in this song which continually catch my attention whenever I get to hear it. They are: "There's nothing too dirty that you can't make worthy. You wash me in mercy...I am clean." Ponder those words just a few minutes, will you? There is something powerful in Natalie's message - and I daresay, there is something powerful which has been worked out in her life in order to pen such deeply profound words. Some might not know, but she overcame an eating disorder (bulemia), now able to "be the girl God sees". I don't think her struggle with self-image leaves her standing alone - there is a huge crowd of men and women alike who can join her in saying it has been a hard, long haul to get to the place they can just be content being the "guy or gal God sees".
There's nothing too dirty...words which might not seem like much at first, but when you really stop to consider those four simple words - they are profound. Nothing in our past, nothing in our present, nothing we are going to face - nothing is "too" anything for God! Too dirty. Too hard. Too messed up. Too deeply ingrained in us. Nothing is "too" much for God. Most of us don't live for awards - we just want to see what God sees in us - exactly the way he sees us. We often see ourselves through the eyes of others - making the "image" of what is portrayed just a little skewed because they don't always see us as God sees us. They have a tendency to judge us, while God has an ability to see us only through the eyes of grace. I began wearing eyeglasses in fifth grade. For about two years, my eyes were getting weaker and weaker, finding myself choosing the desk at the front of the classroom, squinting to make out the board. Then one day someone noticed my struggle and the eye appointment revealed I needed "corrective lenses". What those lenses did was bring into focus what had become so "unclear" - they helped me to see things with a new perspective.
God sees us through the perspective of grace - something which brings things clearly into focus for him - seeing in us all the beauty and depth of character he knows resides deep within each of us just waiting to be brought to the surface. Nothing too dirty that he cannot make worthy as Natalie so aptly says it. All our secrets no longer needing to be masked. All the lies we have told ourselves or others have imposed upon us - nothing but truth stands between us and God. He sees us as we are and loves us nonetheless - nothing being "too anything" to cause him to turn away or look upon us with disgust. That may be hard for some to comprehend, but it is how the "lens" of grace can zero in on the beauty in the ashes! Just sayin!