A Clean Sweep

Signs informing us of scheduled street sweeping appeared. They gave us a span of three days for this to happen, along with a warning not to leave vehicles parked on the street over this time.

During our long, snowy winter sand and gravel were used in order to make our city streets safer. Bit by bit it had accumulated. When the last of the protective snow covering melted; I was surprised by the amount of debris left behind.
It wasn’t obvious when it was covered up. When the street was laid bare, the eyesore was difficult to ignore.

Early one morning I heard the rumble of the street sweeper passing by. It went back and forth multiple times until the area was clean. This powerful machine needed to make many passes in order to complete the job.

On most of the street, a thorough cleaning was accomplished. The occasional vehicle made it impossible to for the brushes to get all the way to the curb, which meant some debris was left behind.

This was an analogy of my life. When negative experiences occur I try to cover and forget them. Over time, a mess accumulates. I don’t want anyone to see what I’m hiding as it won’t be pleasant.

Sooner or later, the cover wears thin and bits of the messiness begin to show. Like the vehicles impeding the street sweeper, I have blockages making it impossible to become clean. Until these are removed, there is no way to effectively deal with the debris that lies beneath.

Jesus offers each of us a chance to make a clean sweep in our lives. When we come to him, humble and repentant, he removes those blockages. In one pass, my messy life is swept clean.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 KJV)

A Clean Sweep

Jesus, cleanse, heart, hidden, lifeIt was a floor I swept regularly. On this particular day I decided to move a small piece of furniture to get to an often neglected area. What I found there surprised me.

A grasshopper must have come in when the door was open. It became trapped and now I was sweeping up its remains.

A shudder ran through me as I related this incident to my life.

When I leave the door open for undesirable things to enter my life, they often come in unnoticed. These little things can hide in the corners of my heart and slowly accumulate. I may think they are not impacting me but sooner or later they become evident. My thoughts and attitude start to reflect the garbage that has been piling up inside of me.

Things may not look that bad on the surface but until I remove any barriers and do a clean sweep, there will still be garbage lurking there. These barriers are of my own making.

What I need to do is confess and bring into the open what I think I’ve been hiding. Jesus sees it all along and is just waiting for me to bring it to him. Once I do, he will do a complete cleanse of my heart. Then I no longer need worry about what may be discovered in those hidden corners.

Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? (Proverbs 20:9 NIV)

God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. (1 John 1:9 GWT)