“I went to the grocery store today”–this did not used to be news. But today, when we’re supposed to stay in our houses and not talk to anyone, this is our big outing. And so, for my big venture into the possible contamination of my local grocery store, I took precautions.
I wore a mask and gloves. I stood in the parking lot and wiped down all the groceries with Clorox before loading them into the car. When I got home, I took the clothes I’d worn, the mask, and the gloves, and put them straight in the washing machine, and then I jumped in the shower, washed my hair, scrubbed my skin, and hopefully scalded away all the little buggies.
I do this because I’m quarantined with my folks, and they’re more at risk than I am. So while I insist in the back of my mind that I trust God, I declare in the front of my mind that if my parents get corona virus, it will not be from me. Still, I fear that wiping down the groceries just spread the germs around, and I think, what about the seat of the car I sat in wearing contaminated clothes? What about the clothes I wear the next time in the car, the next time I hug my dad? And I want nothing more than to step out of the shower, wrap in a towel, and have someone inspect the measures I took, inspect me, and declare, “there. Now you’re clean.” And I can sigh, and relax, and be good for another week.
Sin is a plague. We are born with it in us, infecting us. And whether we are dying on a ventilator or walking around asymptomatic, we have the disease. It is on us–we are a carrier, and every person we meet is in danger of being affected by our sin. And it infects the work of our hands. Everything we touch becomes contaminated, and every effort I take to scrub clean my works is done with a filthy rag (Isaiah 64:6) and just spreads the stuff around.
When Jesus inspects the measures I take, inspects me, He finds them woefully inadequate, counterproductive, and sad. But when Jesus cures me, He tracks down everything I’ve touched, everything that touched everything I’ve touched, everything and every person who touched that, and cleanses it all. When Jesus declared me clean, He cured me inside so that I am no longer dying. He cleansed me on the outside–now His righteousness is what is on my skin, and that is what I’m a carrier of. And He has transformed the work of my hands. Now, it is The Cure that I spread everywhere I go, because that is who’s inside me, on me, and left behind on everything I touch. And I am not good for a week. I’m good for a lifetime.
So when my OCD flares up and tells me I’m not doing good enough, I can remind myself that Jesus has made me clean. And my parents are in His hands. And it is Jesus I leave behind my on everything I touch. I am clean. And that’s good enough for me.