Love is Messy
Love is messy.
We always talk about life being messy, and it is. But love…LOVE…real love, true love, life-changing love…is impolite. It’s untamed. It’s not always pretty. It knows no boundaries and lives by no rules.
Love is messy.
Look no further than a grandmother’s house after her precious grandchildren sweep through it like a hurricane for the evidence. Her carpet is littered with cheerios. Juice circles stain the coffee table. Well-worn toys from her own children’s yesterdays have been dragged out of cubby holes and storage places and played with once again. She’s exhausted and exasperated and exhilarated all at once. That’s what love is.
Or examine the girl newly in love after she’s been kissed really, really well. Her face is flushed. Her lipstick smeared. Her hair may even be in disarray. Every sensible thought she’s ever had in her life has suddenly escaped her. But her eyes are sparkling brighter than a thousand stars. That’s what love is.
Or travel to the foot of the cross to see the Man hanging there who has never done one thing to earn His way to such an undignified ending. His clothes have been torn from His body. His flesh is ripped, bruised, battered. Sweat mixed with blood runs down His face, making Him almost unrecognizable. Yet out of His cracked, dry, swollen lips, Love cries: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Grace wrapped up in sacrifice. Beauty unveiled with each drop of innocent blood. LOVE, in the midst of the mud and the misery and the mess of humanity. THAT’S what Love is.
Love is messy. And I want to be messy, too.
I no longer want to hide behind clean walls and starched clothes and perfect makeup and shiny surfaces. I don’t want it. Any part of it. I crave the messiness and chaos and clutter of a well-lived life. Give me an uncovered pimple any day over an airbrushed existence. I want the wrinkles and stains and shabbiness and sacrifice that comes with loving well.
At the end of the day, I’d rather have…
Dirty feet that have danced through field of flowers than a pristine pedicure
An empty gas tank from driving out of my way to see a friend in need but a full heart
Sparkling eyes than a sparkling house
Love is messy. You sacrifice something for it: Neatness and politeness. Sleep and safety. You stop chasing success and start embracing uncertainty.
But when all is said and done…
The success, the perfect night’s rest, or the wrinkle-free dress…
…none of it can compare with the glorious mess.