I sat in a powerful automatic car wash and I knew there had to be devotion in that experience – somewhere… It was already formulating AUTOmatically in my head and when I saw the last sign to “DRY-N-SHINE” – AUTOmatically I knew that was God’s message today and always… He wants us to SHINE HIS LOVE!
My car wasn’t awful dirty but certainly it could have been cleaner… (what am I saying? My peanut shell crumbs and life dust go on and on, purple bird poop from parking under trees was nothing compared to the inside explosion of who knows what!)…. Likewise I deceive myself into thinking that my life my soul are not as awful as I could imagine (What am I saying? My sins of omission alone and self righteousness go on and on, and oh the mistakes, the bird poop of the soul…).
Despite of all of our humanness, the Lord finds ways for us to cleanse, to find His Way – Living Water in a car wash – a soul-soaking cycle for SAVING. Every car is dirty, every soul is a sinner – all sin is equal – all soul-saving means savoring the Savior.
Inside the wash, my car was on a single track, I had to put it in neutral and let the machine do its work automatically. In life we can look for the narrow but sure path – and we have to actually put our agendas in neutral and let the Spirit take over. Let Jesus do His work – automatically the Spirit pulls us, DON’T even think about putting it back in gear…
Inside, the car was dry, warm and dark! While the whirling bristles and flashing lights outside were like lightning and thunder, I felt the calm in the storms. Under God’s wings we are safe and sound – even if we see the enemies about – even if we hear the roar of earthquakes – calmness will help us hear the whispers of the Lord.
The car got not just one, but many many swirling brushes – many many slapping flaps… One round of clean up is never enough, nor is it sufficient if you skip the hidden areas… Likewise sin and life require lifting the dirt under the dirt… our Savior understands and comes to clean continuously…
Actually, I really wasn’t worried about how the outside looked at all, I really wanted the unlimited time to vacuum and to sort my car on the inside. Jesus doesn’t worry about the outside of you either, Jesus wants to look inside and vacuum – first you can take out the big chunks out by hand – bottles under seats and logs from eyes… God wants you to feel beautiful. GOD LOVES YOU!
At the vacuum stations, my red car neighbors were arguing about scratches, on the gas cover. I stood grateful for realizing that my life scratches, most of which are of my own doing, car AND soul, were being washed. My dents are like Mader’s tow truck dents from the movie “Cars”, they are my memories… My tears, my thorns are my humility reminders, my smiles are in that car too… My joy is measured in miles… Eternally smiles and joy are in the Lord, as eventually we will enter the body shop of Heaven.
And at the end of the car wash what sign do I see illuminated? “SHINE!” Car buffing came included with this ultimate wash package. SHINE! Guess what? Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to each of us and forevermore so that we can SHINE. We are sent out into the world, driving to wherever His SHINE is needed. His LOVE flows miles and miles.
You know this shining up of my car did not cost me anything today!!!… I texted and got a free wash – a top of the line wash for FREE!!!… (yeah sure now they have my number)… You know what? OUR choice to follow Jesus is FREE-ing and doesn’t cost us anything either but it does cost us our own lives. Jesus has got our number and He will forever be pinging us to find us. We can hand our lives over in exchange for His, because He gave His life in exchange for ours – FOREVER… Free washes, free salvation, the owner of our souls already paid…
Of course it is not my boast to SHINE – it’s NOT of my own doing – it’s not even going to prevent me from having new sins, life is life, we mess up. However, the ability to shine is going to give me a chance to heal and to tell others of my healing by the Body and Soul Shop of the Spirit. It is in humbling gratitude that we know the splashes of mud will come, we are bound to repeat our need to be cleansed, we will have remorse, and when we repent we will be forgiven, re-cleaned, souls refreshed.
So take your mud and your scratches, those in your car and in your life and keep driving forward – for you are now commissioned – you are cleansed by the Living Water- it’s time to for you to DRY-N-SHINE!