Last weekend I cleaned our bathroom. It wasn't just the usual spit shine, once-over. This was the scrubbing on my hands and knees clean that was much overdue. As I was doing this, I came to an odd realization: I would MUCH rather clean the toilet bowl than the shower. I started to ask myself why. I discovered that it came down to expectations and distance. With the toilet, well, we all know what happens there. I'm prepared for any nasty I may encounter. It's a toilet. It's supposed to be gross. I can handle that. It's also convenient that to clean the toilet (at least the bowl) there is a brush with a large handle that allows me to keep my distance from the messy stuff.
The shower is an entirely different story. Shouldn't a shower be self-cleaning? I mean we dump who knows how much soap and shampoo in there on a weekly basis. It ought to take care of the messy parts for us! A shower isn't supposed to be gross. It's supposed to be a place of relaxation and cleansing. Wrong. Also, there is (to my knowledge) no toilet bowl brush equivalent for the shower. I was head down on the floor scrubbing with my nose in the grime. There was no keeping my distance. Once I decided to clean it, I was all in.
At some point as I was scrubbing the shower, I realized that I tend to take this same approach to my sin. My "toilet sins," the ones that are easy to acknowledge and out there for everyone to see are often so much easier for me to deal with than the ones I keep mostly inside me, the ones that fester primarily in my heart--my "shower sins." If I don't acknowledge my "toilet sins," other people will notice. They will be repulsed by me, just as they would if they came to my house and saw a dirty toilet. So I clean them up faily quickly with a long handled brush and move on. I look clean and shiny because I've handled my obvious shortcomings for now. However, the "shower sins" are easier to hide. They get in the crevices of my heart and my soul and they stay there and they mildew and rot until I finally have the courage to go before the Lord and ask Him to scrub my heart clean. Sometimes I don't even realize the "shower sins" exist and many times I choose to just ignore them in hopes they'll go away on their own. But, they don't. I have to go inside my heart and face the dirt and grime, just like I do in the shower.
This could seem discouraging, but the beautiful thing here is that when I bring ALL of my sins before the Lord, it is like bathing in a freshly scrubbed shower. God's mercy and grace pour down over me and wash me clean.
Here's to praying my literal shower and the one in my heart and soul get a good scrubbing more often!