messy souls

Messy Souls

“I’m cleaning the closet,” she calls…

messy souls

She points to the growing mound in the middle of the floor…

A mound of clothes…

And pictures…

And boxes.

She wants a clean house…

An orderly House…

A house where she can live…

A house where she can invite her friends.

She starts with the closets.

But the closets overwhelm her.

Defeat her.

Full of curios that used to sit on tables and shelves…

Full of pictures of people she doesn’t know…from a century in which she never lived.

She pulls everything out of the closet and sits looking at it.

Where can she put it?

She can’t throw it away.

Not the album of pictures of people from another century…

People who might be relatives…

messy soulsmessy souls

Not the glass case of strange rocks that used to sit on the top shelf in her father’s den.

messy souls

Not knowing what to do…

She sighs, stands, leaves the room and closes the door.

So people won’t see the mess in the room.

Still, she wants a clean house.

An orderly House.

A house where she can live.

A house to which she can invite friends.

So she goes to her bedroom, takes all the clothes out of that closet, and lays them on the bed.

Clothes she wears now…

Clothes she wore when she was a young woman.

Her daughter’s brownie uniform.

She smiles.

How can she throw anything away?

She stands, leaves the room and closes another door.

That night, since there’s no space on her bed, she sleeps on the sofa.


Wondering how she can ever make things right.

Afraid to invite friends because of the mess.

Living in a house that shrinks day by day.

How much are we like her?

Not in our houses, but in our souls?

We want an orderly soul…

A clean soul…

A soul where we can invite God.

Sometimes when I look into the dark corners of my soul, I am overwhelmed by the mess I find.

So I close the door to that part of my soul…

Thinking my neighbors won’t see the mess.

Pretending God doesn’t already know about it.

Living in a soul that shrinks day by day.

Defeated by all I think I have to do before I can invite God into my messy soul..

While He stands waiting for every one of us, messy souls and all, saying…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

Waiting for us to surrender our messy souls to him and to realize that He has already done the rest…

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16


An earlier version of this post first appeared in November, 2015.

2 thoughts on “Messy Souls

  1. Here’s something else I thought of as I read … When I focus too much on the messy corners (and sometimes entire rooms!!) I also never let friends in … Friends who only want to come in and be with me and share life with me, no matter that I have messy closets.
    But I keep all doors closed tightly.

    Great post. Thanks.

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