Thursday, June 02, 2011

Learning to Pray in the Bathroom

I am vacuuming the women's restroom at church when they come in.  It is nearly finished. Just put up the baseboards and caulk behind the sinks and then we can add furniture and artwork.  I can imagine the brides, standing in front of the huge full length mirror in their dazzling white gowns.   Beautiful.

"It looks wonderful in here!" she says.  I smile.  I am pleased.  After all, it is for them.  This room.  This space.  This reflection of the Creator's beauty, for them to be reminded that the King is enthralled with the beauty of his bride, the church. (Psalm 45:11)

"I've been watching you work all these weeks and wondering how it was all going to come together.  And then I walked in yesterday and it just popped!  It looks so beautiful."  I am honored by the compliment.  She continues, "And I think you should..." the suggestions come flying.  I have had this conversation with other women, too.

I try to be diplomatic.  I try to explain why I have chosen the things I've chosen.  I try to listen with humility--maybe they have ideas I haven't thoroughly researched yet.

"Well, what about this, I think you should...."

"I looked into that, too, believe me."

"What about Craigslist?"

"I've been scouring Craigslist, believe me."

"Well have you...?

Believe me.

And then I wonder if they know I have a plan?  I wonder if they believe that I knew how the puzzle pieces would interlock from the beginning of the project.  I wonder if  they think I am just making things up as I go along.   Probably, they are just excited about the project and want to be part of it.  The suggestions are not bad.  Some of them even seem great.  But they are not part of the plan.

Later, I am hanging curtains and someone else comes in.  "I love coming in here.  I love seeing what's new each week and every time I come in it just gets better and better!"  I have to peel myself off the floor.  Such encouragement!  I am grateful.  And I prepare my heart for the suggestions.  But instead I get questions.

"What are you going to do next?"  I tell her about some artwork.  She responds, "Oh!  That's going to look amazing!"

"What are these for?"  I show her how the mirrors will be framed.  "I love it!  It's going to be fantastic.  I'm going to want to live here!"

Even the things she is confused about are met with praise, "I can't really picture it but I'm sure it will be great.  Everything you've done so far is fantastic."

Have you figured it out yet?  That these words I am typing are not really about the bathroom?  I mean, they happened.  But they happened in the Shadowland.  They are a mere wisp of reality and the thing I am really talking about is so very, very solidly real.

So many times I have come before the throne with suggestions.  "Dear God, please do this.  Please give me this.  Please make this work out they way I think it should."

I have treated Yahweh like he is some big wish-list granting genie.  I have said,  "This is beautiful!  Now please do these things my way."

I have questioned and questioned his way.  I have not believed, really believed that he has a plan.  That he has known how all the puzzle pieces would interlock from the beginning.  I have acted as if he is just making things up as he goes along.  I have forgotten that he is the Designer.

What if...what if, instead, I asked, "What are you going to do next?" and "What is this for?" and  "I don't know what you're doing but I'm sure it will be great because everything you've done so far has been beautiful."  What if I wanted to live in the space that he is creating.  What if I approached the throne with a heart that said, "I love coming here.  I love seeing what's new.  Every time I come before you it just gets better and better."  What if I believed him?


  1. I love this reflection Jeana! You are so right, what if... thank you so much for your encouraging thoughts.

  2. Love it... so true... I am living there right now... trying to rest and learn to trust. I am sure the bathroom is amazing... I am sure you will post pictures... I look forward to seeing them!

  3. thanks for this encouragement :)

  4. Beautiful! I love tangible examples like these. They stick.

  5. *tears* So true. I may link to this from my blog, if that's ok.

  6. So true. What a beautiful illustration.


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