Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dirt in the purse

Sometimes the craziest things happen to me! Thursday night, I was laying out my clothes for Friday morning. I had a super-early day and an insanely busy schedule, so I wanted to be sure I could get dressed and out of the house quickly. Because my pants for the next day were brown and my handbag was black, I decided to change purses. Reaching in to the side zipper pocket, anticipating a pen and a tube of lipstick, I was surprised by a handful of dirt instead. Now, I do not mean lint and debris. I mean dirt from the ground. Soil. My side zipper pocket was full of soil. It's not common to reach for a pen and get garden soil instead, so I was astonished. How in the world did this happen? I made a quick purse swap and left the mystery for another day. 

This afternoon, I decided to finish the purse clean out. It turns out my handful of dirt from Thursday evening was just the beginning! There was still nearly a cupful of dirt in the side pocket and almost as much in the bottom of my purse. I like purses, have way too many (collected over years), and change purses often. There might be a little lint in the bottom of my purse, but I have never had soil in my purse, certainly not enough to pot a plant!

How could soil get in my purse? The only ones in my house are Maggie the Wonder Dog, Mamie the Apprentice Wonder Puppy, me, and God. I didn't put dirt in my purse, I didn't see how the dogs could have done it, so I decided to talk with the Lord about it. "I can't see You putting dirt in my purse, Lord, but how did it get there?" I asked. Silence. As the day went on, I would occasionally say, "Really, Lord, what's up with the dirt in the purse? That's very strange." Nothing but silence. Finally, I said, "OK. Is there some kind of lesson in this? Because dirt in the purse is really weird!" About that time, I thought about all the things I carry in that purse. Hair clip, makeup, mirror, breath mints, safety pin, wallet, credit and debit cards, cash and change. Just stuff. As I pondered the purse, I realized that everything in the purse represented things that I keep near and that are important to me  - beauty supplies, money, pens, check book. Nothing really important. 

To God, maybe all of the contents were no more important than dirt. That offends me a  little, until I realize that, from an eternal perspective, none of those things in my purse matter. They don't matter a bit. I will not carry a purse into heaven with me, there will be no need for beauty supplies, and the money will be pointless. In heaven, they use gold to pave the streets. In a way, gold is a little like soil in heaven, so maybe the contents of my purse really do look like dirt to God. 

Let me be clear about this. I am not suggesting that God put dirt in my purse. I don't know how it got in my purse, but I don't think it was God. I do think He helped me see things a little differently. Those things that matter so much to me now will be totally worthless in heaven, including the money I have so carefully stored away.  There will be no need for lipstick or hair clips there, either. 

When we look from the standpoint of eternity at the "stuff" that we consider so important, it looks a lot less important, doesn't it? Take a good long look at the things you consider important enough to keep nearby. Do they have eternal significance?

I'm afraid my purse contents tell a little more about me than I'd like. Unfortunately, I'm not sure it's my purse contents that need to change. Maybe it's me. Perhaps you have a few priority changes to make, too. Well, friends, we might as well get started. There won't be any handbags in heaven.