Our new-to-us house has a long corridor hallway in the middle of it with an ample size utility closet. Perfect for hanging backpacks, and winter coats, for the vacuum cleaner, and for art supplies.
The previous owner, I think, must have had a nack for mirrors. Instead of putting regular wooden closet doors in this hallway, they decided to put full-length wall-sized sliding-mirrored doors on it.
The first few days of moving in, I thought the doors were novel. It was so great to be able to have a full-length mirror in the hallway for one last check before heading out the door- except that the previous owner also put into the house mirrored doors on ALL the closets.
After a few days, I started to notice that about three and half to four feet from the ground on the mirror started to accumulate a little grime. Here and there, almost in a line from one side to the other side of the mirror, were little grubby fingerprints- just the size of my two son’s fingers.
Apparently, the mirror was great for more than looking at, it was for looking and touching!
Then one day, I stopped dead in my tracks. There on the mirror wasn’t just a couple of fingerprints, but two large handprints stuck on with some sort of sticky goop.
In the midst of moving in, Christmas, and a few different boughts of sickness running through our house, I hadn’t had a chance to clean the handprints from the mirror.
Today, as I walked passed them, I thought to myself, I really should grab the Windex and clean that off. But then, after that, came my gut reaction-
Don’t clean it.
It’s a reminder to you every time you walk by, that this gift of a house, is meant to be a home.
And homes are meant to be LIVED in- touched, danced in, wrapped around and turned inside out because of the people- big and small- that inhabit them.
And then immediately following my gut reaction came the faint whisper of the Holy Spirit...
Don’t clean it not only because this house is meant to be lived in, but because those handprints will serve as a reminder to you that My handprints are all over your life, your small corner of the world.
Even here, in these moments, My handprints are in this ordinary house.
That made me pause even more.
In this ordinary moment of putting away a bag into this utility closet- God spoke.
Into the midst of this new year, this first day of 2018, more than anything what I want is to pay close enough attention to my life, that I can not only sense where God is, but that I would, see clearly not only fingerprints of his actions around me, but his whole handprints.
I long for this to be a way of life, not just a flicker of clarity here and there, but that seeing handprints of my Savior and Friend, Jesus, would be a regular occurrence.
As I write those words, it seems a bit audacious to me- Me! See God’s handprints over my life and the lives around me?!?
As if my life were something special for God to pay attention to. Well yes. And no.
The reality is on the one hand- my life isn’t special. It’s ordinary. I live on an ordinary street, in a San Diego town, that isn’t especially well off or extraordinarily beautiful. But that’s just the thing about it. On the other hand, in scripture, it’s into the ordinary that God’s handprints show up- all. Over. The. Place.
I don’t have anything different from you, to make God’s actions more visible. But, I do believe that He’s present, and He longs to be seen. And that’s what I want this year to be. A year where I learn to see clearer.
See clearer my own self, both the weakness and pain, and the joy and promise.
See clearer my family, their needs, strengths, and ways God is shaping them.
See clearer God’s calling- both small and large.
See clearer God’s handprints in the interruptions of my life.
See clearer God’s work of redemption happening in my neighborhood, my kid’s schools, my church, and my city.
I have a lot on my to-do list this first day of 2018, but those handprints were a timely reminder. The to-do lists will always be there, and overriding the tasks is this, this deeper longing to see clearly God at work, and to be a person who responds to actions with a yes and an amen!
Your life can be a place where God’s handprints show up, just as clear. Maybe you need to pay attention.
Who’s with me?
A great place to start is to sign up to receive my brand new e-book Miracle in the Mundane. I will send it to you, to start you off on this New Year, with what I believe is one of the most flooring, and motivating truths of scripture, that God is in YOUR ORDINARY LIFE.