I am currently sitting in a coffee shop that is surrounded by books.
There are probably over three thousand books around me. There is only a couple of tiers that indicate some sort of genre and order but for the most part it is complete chaos.
I have been coming to this shop every day this week to work on homework and such. The owner every so often will grab a romance book that is located in the mystery section and move it over to it’s appropriate genre. Books are stacked on the side that need to be put on shelves but there really isn’t enough space. And yet, there is something comforting about this place, something inviting and home-y, it is warm in here and the smell of coffee (that is tbh subpar) is filling the small shop. There is something about this mess that is beautiful and inviting to me, I think because it is relatable.
Like this coffee shop, there is something comforting about the “mess” around us. I am pretty sure it is because we are a mess. You should get a good look at me right now. Sometimes I go 5+ days without washing my hair. I ditched both of my classes this week and I am almost certain that I forgot to put on deodorant today.
Regardless of my poor hygiene and irresponsibility, there is a sense of comfort after I take a second and realize the peace working within me.
I’m thinking Matthew 16:24.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."
Jesus is explaining to His disciples that following Jesus requires you to ignore your own interests (deny yourself), take up the means by which you are bound to death (take up your cross), walk where He walks (follow me).
This is a powerful message Jesus is offering! It would almost make more sense if He said, "deny yourself, LEAVE your cross..." but instead Jesus is actually saying bring that (for lack of a better word) crap with you and come on. Which is so Jesus-like. He does not ask us to clean ourselves up so that we can follow Him. No, He simply asks us to turn away from the thing(s) that are holding our attention. Whereas some might assume Jesus would want us to rid ourselves of the things that make us messy, that is not the requirement to following Jesus. He instead asks us to bring the things that make us messy with us knowing that as we progress in our journey with Him, those thing will be dealt with in their time.
So in this messy book/coffee shop, I am still welcome to work in here. I still can find peace knowing that in its mess it is perfectly OK.
Each day, the shop owner is moving a few books around, adding organization.
Every day, Jesus is moving things around in you. And you know it too.
He is organizing and renewing, and cleaning out some things. The best part about it, is all you have to do is keep the door unlocked and let Him come on in and see your mess. No shame, no guilt, no requirement to clean up before He comes…just sit and rest knowing the peace that is working within you
- Hannah Turner