Monday, March 6, 2017

Old Brooms & Common Sense

Monday, March 6, 2017
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!  Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!  When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.  Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.  My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.  Interlude
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.  I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”  And you forgave me!  All my guilt is gone.  Psalm 32:1-5(NLT)

I’m not exactly certain where I first heard the expression, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t my grandmother.  I can just imagine it falling from her lips:

A new broom sweeps clean, but an old broom knows the corners!

I was reminded of this bit of wisdom a few days ago after severe wind and rain deposited a bunch of tree stuff on our back patio.  That patio has a brick border, and the little niches and corners formed by a zillion bricks just cannot be swept clean with a new broom…for that you need a broom that has tried many times to get into tight spaces.  The contour of straws shortened into corner-shaped wedges can get into tight spaces, the likes of which a new, fresh-cut broom can only dream.  An old broom may be battered, unseemly and humble, but it has learned the ways of corners which hide the dirt.  A new broom is generally in too much of a hurry to get into such places.

King David was a new broom kind of guy when it came to confessing his sins to God.  He had not learned to get in the deep recesses, the corners of his pride, until an old broom named Samuel pointed out the dirt stored up there. 

Psalm 32 is David revealing what happened when he tried to hide his sins from God; the short re-telling of his physical weariness, emotional bankruptcy, and every other kind of pain shows what a wasted effort it is when we are anything but totally honest with God.  David is finally worn-down like a new broom becoming a wiser old broom.  His strength to keep up appearances of a clean house, when his hidden corners are piled with the mess of life, wears away his pride and ability to keep up the pretense.   David finally breaks, because David had nowhere else to go. 
And his confession is accepted by God because being worn-down under the heavy hand of God’s discipline finally bent the straws of David’s life into a corner-shaped broom that was not afraid to get into the shadowy darkness of his hidden spaces.  He hauled every mud ball, twig and dust mite of his corner-hidden sins out for God to see and forgive.
The reason David had nowhere else to go with his sins is because the loving heart of God uses the heavy hand of God to push the child of God into a place where the grace of God can finally shine such a light on our dirty corners, we have to throw down our new brooms of pride and pick up the old wise broom of grace.

For You Today

Do you remember that worn-out old broom of grace?
Lent is a time to get in the corners.
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road…have a blessed day!

Title image: Russell Brownworth (own work)

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