I grew up in the country with a lot of open space to play outdoors. Whether from freshly turned black Louisiana garden top-soil, murky water puddles in the unpaved driveway, or thick gooey mud from the road-side ditch, dirt was a mainstay of childhood. My bare-feet were perpetually discolored in the summer.
But there was a dirt foreign to me until we visited my father while he worked in Arizona. With limited room in the main house, my sister and I were assigned to sleep in the travel trailer. We cleaned it, locked it up tightly and then left for a tour with the family. While we were away, a trespasser entered.
The door and windows were still locked tight when we returned to discover a layer of fine, red dirt on everything. A desert dust storm had sprung up while we were away and infiltrated our camper. There was not a single surface untouched; we were shocked. How could dirt enter through a secured space?
In the end it really didn't matter how the dirt got in; the result was the same. We had to re-clean the trailer.
Not one of us can walk through life without getting dirty. No degree of security can prevent it from clinging to us. We can try to avoid it by attending church, helping those in need, or just "being good”, but the dirt of sin will always find us.
Some types are easier to see- caked on mud shows more clearly than a fine layer of dust- yet it must still be cleaned. What we can manage on our own is to smear it around or push it to the corners where it’s less obvious. The underlying filth remains. Alone we can never wash it away.
Message for the Journey:
If we look outward at others it’s easy to be deceived into believing our sins are less tainted than theirs. But when we look upward at Him we see the truth. Her dirt may be different than yours, and your dirt may be different than mine but, whether the dirt is a fine, red dust or thick muddy clay, in God's eyes we're all just as dirty. It’s only by being washed in the blood of Christ that we’re made clean. Not of our own doing, but through His.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.