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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For He chose us in Him before creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.  In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will- to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.” Ephesians 1:3-6 NIV
I whisk the tablecloth off the round table to throw it in the laundry. My heart skips a beat as I see six little words written in red marker on the wood surface.  I had long forgotten about the messy scribble my 7 year old daughter had written many years ago but there it was- her precious words “I love you Mom Dad Zack”.
I wonder to myself, “How could I have forgotten about this treasure, a piece of my daughter’s heart, written with such pride and love?”
The scene comes rushing back to mind as I recall scurrying around to tidy up for a holiday party.  In efforts to make the house look more presentable to my guests, I had covered the old kitchen table, now used in our sun room as a work/craft table, with a colorfully patterned fabric tablecloth.  At the time, the marks, scribbles, and even etchings, didn’t seem too appealing so I tried to disguise and hide them under the cloth.  I was sure my guests would not fully appreciate my sweet daughter’s doodles and words as I did.
So there they remained for weeks and months- hidden and forgotten, until just now as I was pleasantly surprised on laundry day.
Sometimes I try to disguise my heart and soul.  I try to cover up the real me in attempt to look presentable to others.  My insecurities, failures, and sins make it hard to let others get to know me.  Afraid of not being accepted and appreciated, my feelings, fears, and vulnerabilities get pushed down deep.
Deeper still.  I don’t want others to see the messy me- the scribble and blots on my heart and soul.  I try to hide the imperfections that make me ME.
But they can never truly be concealed.
The Bible reminds I cannot hide from my Father and I am loved no matter how messed up I am.  God knew long before the earth was created that He would love me through every sin, every mistake, every time I grieve His heart.  He has called me Holy and set me apart as His child.  He blesses me abundantly and overwhelmingly with His unselfish grace.  I am not just accepted but cherished.  God thinks of the mistakes and magic marker scribbles of my life as valuable as He uses them to teach and form me into the beautiful masterpiece I was created to be.
It’s OK to let others see your imperfections and flaws.  We all have them and God certainly knows all about them.  Today, ask the Lord to use all parts of your life, the beautiful and not-so-beautiful, to bring Him glory.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me unconditionally.  Thank You for seeing me, knowing me, and wanting me, despite my clutter and dirtiness.  Make my life a living testament to Your glory as You work all things for good.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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