secret mess

I bought a new handbad for my birthday tomorrow. I can’t wait to use it. When he saw it, the husband’s rational reply was:

“So if you have a new one will you throw out your old one?”

I didn’t merit that rationale with a response. Selective hearing. But I did have to empty the old handbag.

Yes. That is a spoon. Yes. That is a roll of cellotape. And amongst the rubbish there are around 12 pens and three felt tips in there. I’m not proud. In fact I’m shaming myself into being tidier with this new bag.

It got me thinking.

If you looked at the outside of my old handbag you’d have thought it was a bit tired but overall pretty neat, smart and organised. But lurking beneath the surface, behind the visible: you find a real mess.

We’re ok with people seeing we’re a bit tired. But we don’t want people to see the messy states of our hearts and minds and lifestyles.


We try to hide mess. If we can’t see it, it’s not there. Pretending makes the mess go away. The truth is denial does no spring cleaning.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard or read was that it’s ok to not be ok sometimes. It’s ok. In his book Uncensored Grace, Jud Wilhite wrote that “we are all a mess, but God loves messy people.”

I love that God loves messy people. It means he loves me, because I’m messy. I’m rough around the edges. I don’t want to keep those edges rough. I’m grateful that I have One who is smoothing them.

Every so often we all need to empty our bags.


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