Monday, August 22, 2011

Keeping Your House in Order

Foreign dictators. Closet Christians. Public Servants. Housewives. We all have our duties and obligations. Before God and our fellow messy's, we direct piles of trash out the door and keep the dust clinging to rags 'stead of shelves more. We manage entropy to live out a Deuteronomy 28 perspective.

If we do our jobs, we're happy. If not, "kchthch."

The Gadaffi's and Assads, however. They wonder where they went wrong. They thought they were doing their jobs, sure their exalted positions assured the world that they belong where they are; that any challenge is illegitimate; that power dictates legitimacy. Might makes right.

But they are deceived. The God of Justice rules and reigns. If they were not deposed, our King would judge them in His good time, whether in this life or the next. And those suffering under oppressive rule, who open a Bible to their peril, would receive crowns for boldness, courage rewarded in this life or the next.

No, the dictator does not serve the God of the Housewife, The God of the servant. Our Jesus begs us seek our meaning by serving others, dying to self, seeing our roles as a calling to excellence for someone else's glory, not our own. And so we scrub, learning from dictators that we are only one hairsbreadth from becoming one ourselves. When our efforts become all about us, we beg judgement. Deposed by the demon of self,  the bloodshed begins! Would that I could take back all the verbal cuts and self righteous jabs that arose when I felt self-justified, in charge and infallible.


The foreign dictator does not differentiate between real trash and imagined.  In the west, Believers recognize that people are not disposable. Gadaffi and Assad do not take our meaning. Little gods unto themselves, they serve only the desire to retain power.  The housewife rules to keep her LORD in power. By gentle service, and vigorous scrubbing, she seats her Saviour in a place of honor** and receives from Him a crown of glory only redeemable in another world. Patient, she waits and trusts and knows. Her fate is secure.

Theirs, not so much.

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Oh. Wait.
In the west do women still scrub their own floors? I know I am daily tempted to hire a maid! I could find a day job to better finance this whim, and witness my dictatorial nature rewarded with handsome compensation. The bitchier I behave, the higher the raise. Bam! Deuteronomy 28 again, the last half this time. (Just how the abandoned neighborhood connects with cultural decline is a long diatribe, but at its core, cheap labor from South America has made leaving home look so rewarding and so easy. But deep down the suspicion persists: the threadbare stay-at-home mom champions western civilization.)
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Explain now, the hard scrabble tears; the anguish when the dirt would not come up and the wrist sprained from fighting indelible wear as sweat and grunts emit like men at the gym under heavy bench press... As if the dirty vinyl were a heartless regime that plies bullets when a Brother in Christ dares talk of Jesus, and when a sign bearer is caught in an untimely street demonstration. As if, by flexing all my weight and strength and muscle I could oust a dictator or free a saint or take a bullet.

Hot tears because I know the Prophesies are true: there is more pain ahead for my brothers. When this regime falls, or that dictator is jailed, demons will take their place. My floors will whether parties and family and gatherings and friends, but in Libya, their fate will frighten. My wrist will heal, but their church will dive deep underground and bear scars that never heal. My vinegar and ammonia will greet many more saints of an oblivious West who rarely give their brothers a thought while gliding past the drive-thru windows.

But Arab lovers of The Savior will pay for their faith in blood.

There are no crowns for clean floors. There is no reward for best homemade pizza. Just eked-out gratitude for a nation that did right once, earning a few generations of Deuteronomy 28 protection.

Dare I hope my clean floor will stave off some imminent household judgement, while I wait in line to become the next inductee to a praying closetful of Grannies changing the world one intercession at a time?

Like drapes twisting in the wind, so is this funnel cloud of time drawing the world closer to a Saviour's re-appearing.

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                                (“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”)

                                       Abraham Lincoln)

**9/22/11 note. 
The movie theme of SEVEN DAYS IN UTOPIA gets to the heart of this
in such an effective, powerful way;
perfect for these egotistical, bloggy, shrines-to-self End Times.

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