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Vaccuming up sin

May 29, 2020

Vaccuming up sin


Yesterday as I was Hoovering the bedroom (that’s what my grandmother used to call it), I was thinking about how much I enjoy vacuuming. You plug in the machine, push/pull it across the carpet and, MAGIC!, it’s clean. 

I don’t like the prep work of moving all the stuff out of the way though. Or having to stop and pick up larger items that are small enough to get stuck in the vacuum but weren’t noticed when we moved the stuff. 

So, it’s probably no surprise that vacuuming in our house often happens in 3 different ways.

  1. The Quick Vacuum - Most Common. The main areas of the house get vacuumed but nothing gets moved out of the way, edges are ignored and things like paperclips or bobby pins may get vacuumed or they may just be kicked to the side. 
  2. The Medium Vacuum - Regular basis but not as often as the Quick Vacuum. The whole house gets vacuumed and most of the furniture gets moved out of the way, all the little things get picked up before/during vacuuming and the edges get “wanded.” Baseboard may, or may, be included.
  3. The Complete Vacuum - Occasional. (Wish it was more often). All the furniture that can be moved, gets moved; the corner that has a pile of boxes that “need to be gone through” gets moved; all the window sills, baseboards, tight/difficult areas are included in the vacuuming. 


As I was finishing a Complete Vacuuming session over the weekend, I was thinking that vacuuming is like confession. 

Sometimes we come to God  and confess the things that we consider obvious sins or the ones that are easy to confess. We don’t spend additional time thinking about anything deeper. We don’t move anything out of our heart to get the corners clean.

At other times we do the Medium Vacuum with God. We move most of the furniture out of way and ask for forgiveness for most of the areas we’ve sinned. We spend a little more time thinking about our sins and often include the “omission” of opportunities as well as the “commission” of sins. 

It’s simplest to just leave our confessions there. 

That covers most of it. We don’t want to go any deeper. We don’t want to look under the rugs, see the dust bunnies that have gathered behind the desk that’s hard to get to, or clean out under the table that sits so low the vacuum won’t fit underneath.

But, just like my house FEELS clean when I’ve done a Complete Vacuum, my heart feels clean when I’ve confessed it all to God. 

When I’ve spent the time to move all the stuff out of the way and really look at all the areas of my heart and confess them to God. When I deeply feel and pray Psalm 139:23-24.

Search me, O God, and know my heart, 

Test me and know my anxious thoughts. 

See if there is any offensive way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.

That’s the NIV version. I also love The Passion Translation:

God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart.

Examine me through and through;

find out everything that may be hidden within me.

Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.

See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on,

and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways—

the path that brings me back to you. 

We have the opportunity to be one with God. To be in him and have him in me. In you. In us.

When our hearts are fully cleaned, there’s plenty of room for God to fill them with his glory, shining his light on our lives and allowing us to shine outward to others.

Give your heart a complete vacuum. And then shine on!  





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