I just started a renovation project in our house. The design, function, and final look of the project have occupied space in my mind. It isn’t always there, but I always come back to it. I plan and scheme and dream of what I want to do.
All these projects have a similar progression. There is the inception of the project. The thought that births all the pain and frustration; spent dollars, and potential disagreements.
I thought about this the past couple of days. I thought about how my home DIY project, in some small and broken way, demonstrates what is happening in me. There is a risk here of getting mired in an endless morass of allegory and comparison. Achieving allegorical and theological perfection is not the end goal here. I just want to share how God has been showing me some things in the past few days about what he is doing in my life.
When we moved in, our master bathroom was in need of some work. Over time I had planned on fixing it and had demoed items here and there. It was not fully functional. The vanity and sink were gone, the bath was disconnected and flipped on its side and the toilet only worked marginally (including a mysterious double flush). It has served as that dusty harbinger of materialism, the place where we put overabundance. It was broken and virtually unusable, but unmistakably a bathroom.
I am, so to speak, that bathroom. A spark of the divine, a remnant of a pre-fall Creation like a memory right there on the edge of our conscious mind. We can’t quite grasp it. There is a distant memory of Eden, but it is broken, lost, and unusable.
Then Christ redeemed me. He breathed the divine into the broken body that was meant to mirror him and I became functional, though not complete.
Much like I have had a plan in my mind for my bathroom, Christ has had a plan for me. It is the image in Paradise Lost of Christ offering to step in and be sacrificed before the World is ever created. He is the sacrifice slain from the foundation of the world. His plan has always been in place and he is remaking me.
I am Christ’s and therefore I function as a Christian and I am clothed in Christ. He has been the propitiation for my guilt. Like my bathroom, I am unmistakenly a Christian, but not fully finished. I am not perfected. I am broken, but I am being remade and renewed every day. He is excising the rotting boards and insulating the walls against the outside elements. He is upgrading the function and out of that function comes beauty as I began to resemble more and more of Christ. He is sanctifying me as I walk with him and daily surrender.
I know that this thought did not come from me or from my own head. It was born out of an article I read years ago and sat latent under the surface. I only realized it after starting these thoughts. It was an article called Attics and Temples by the late Rich Mullins. You can find it and other great articles in his posthumous compilation The World As I Remember It Through The Eyes of a Ragamuffin.
So I want to leave you with a far clearer view of what I am trying to say.
“However messy it may be now, however confusing and scary it appears, however endless the task may seem, we will some day be glorious, beautiful, alive! There is much tearing out to do – a lot to give up. No thin coat of new paint, no shallow, petty piety will do. It’s not good enough to cover up imperfection, it must be corrected. Art, beauty, function – these things take time. They may take till the day of Christ Jesus.” – Rich Mullins