Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kara Knows …

Two lines form in Tennesse when spring is near: the line at Bruster's Ice Cream shop and the line at the car wash. We had been to the car wash line on a warm Friday, so that we would not be embarrassed when we hosted missionaries for dinner that night.

Two things appear overhead in Tennessee when spring is near: highlights on women's hair and open sunroofs. We usually would indulge in the second, but on that particular hectic Friday, we just didn't take the moment to push the button. As we drove to our meeting place, we found ourselves waiting at in a long line of open roofed cars at a busy intersection. As the 4 of us chatted away noisily, we paused when we heard what sounded like a splat. As an afterthought, Jeff looked up to see the culprits. It was a pair of birds perched on a wire high above our place in the line. Our clean state had not lasted long, and it was only our closed glass roof that protected me from the missile above the passenger's seat. I would have had an accessory on my head for dinner. Once in the parking lot, we noticed that we had been bombed by several of the flock of friends. Temporarily disgusted, we laughed over our near miss and drowned our misfortune in raspberry tea and queso dip.

After sweet conversation with our missionary friends, accompanied by what I think are the best cheese grits Knoxville has to offer, we climbed back into our stained car. As we pulled out, Jeff noticed that we had picked up another trophy, appearing on the back windshield in the rear view mirror. It was a simple message, signed with the name, "Kara." Who is Kara? I may never know. Maybe she had enjoyed grits at the booth beside us. Maybe she had the foresight to know you don't need queso and an order of grits. Whoever she was, she made an observation and wrote it on our windshield: "Help me!" She even had the thoughtfulness to put a heart beside it. I think she saw that we needed cleaning up, and she meant the cry for help in a friendly way.

Kara knew we get dirty by just being out in the world. I'm so thankful that Jesus can put a stamp of "cleansing" on us, declaring us one and for all acceptable before God, but 1 Thess. 4:3-7 tells us that "this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles … For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification." God wants us to be set apart, holy, because He is holy. Impurity in our lives never stays hidden forever; our condition becomes obvious to others, and it overflows painfully to so many around us. Our lives cry out, "Help me!"

Cleansing is a constant process. "How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to your word," Ps. 119:9. With so many culprits perched around us on all sides, it's easy to get "hit" by temptations on the internet, tv, our phones, conversations, music, magazines, and so much more. We can just stop at the wrong place at the wrong time and find ourselves "hit" by flying sin. We have to take care where we pause and what we take in, but 1 Cor. 6 reminds us that when we belong to God, we have been bought with a price, and we are to glorify Him with our bodies. We're told to "Flee!" whenever we are tempted to get dirty. 1 Thessalonians 4 uses a word that means "keep on abstaining" when it comes to sexual sins which are sins in the body. That means, "keep on cleaning." There's such great blessing for us when we aim to be clean. And just in case Kara's reading this, we took your advice. We're clean again, and it feels good!

2 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Patty Fortner said...

Hi Julie,

Thank you for sharing your funny story of how easily we can become "dirty" by being too close to "dirty" things. And how wonderful it is to be clean. : )

Wendy Blight said...

Love Psalm 119:9 and also from Psalm 119, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word." Psalm 119:11. Hiding His Word in our hearts is the key so that when the world pulls us in one direction, our heart pulls us back. Thank you for your wise words today!!