My fíance and I recently adopted a kitten. Prior to picking her up, we went to get some essential things for her. A litter box, food, a toy and cat litter. What we did not purchase was a feeding utensil just for her. When it was time to feed her a spoon from the kitchen was used. That same spoon went from the can of food to the kitchen sink, it was washed, rinsed and another spoon was picked up for the next feeding.
I am particular about cleanliness and what goes where. Knowing the spoon went from the cat food to the sink and another one was used bothered me, but as I thought about it, I felt the Holy Spirit prompt two questions in me,"If it was washed, is the spoon still unclean? When you look at the spoon why do you remember how it was used?" In that moment I had to take a minute to stop and think.
How often do I look at myself and remember something I was made clean of? To take it even further, how often do I look at others and remember something they have been made clean of?
It is easy to see a thing and to be reminded of its use but that is not how the Lord looks at me. When He looks at me, He does not see what I used to do or how I used to let myself be. He sees the Jasmine that He has cleansed, washed and made clean. But what do I see?
I still see my flaws, the ways I have messed up and the sins I have committed. That is not freedom, that is bondage. If the Lord wants me to be free (which I believe He does) I must lose this perspective: "that once was, still is".
The reminder of once was can sometimes lead me to be judgemental. It can cause me to forget. The spoon being used for cat food, washed and placed back in the drawer should not have been a problem for me, yet it was. I was too focused on its previous use that I was unable to acknowledge that it had been cleaned and ready to be used in whatever manner that seemed fit.
I have the tendency to see where I once was, to remember it and to question how the Lord is using me now, when He has washed me and has a new use for me. He will continue to wash me and have a use for me, be it in the same way or in a new way. The washing continues.
A new perspective of what it means to be clean is needed. If I see the spoon I should not remember what it was once used for, I should only think of its current intended use. As I should with my life. As I am being washed from yesterday's white lie or snappy attitude; I should be in today and allow myself to be used as if I was never used for anything else before.
I will leave us with a prayer,
Father, I thank you for your blood. I thank you for the cleansing of my sins. I thank you for a new day and for another opportunity to be used by you. I ask now that you would change my perspective and understanding of what it means to be clean. That I would not be judgmental over my life or of the life next to me. That I would not see my previous sins or uses and close myself off to the way you may want to use me today. I thank you again for your Son and for His blood that cleanses me and makes me whole. I thank you for the ways you will change me and my way of thinking that I would be free to be used. I ask for your forgiveness for the times I have been judgmental and critical of myself and of others. Cleanse me O'Lord and purge my mind with hyssop that I may be used freely. In Jesus' name, amen.