The living room is still a bit of a mess this morning. Pieces of wrap and scraps of bows sprinkled here and there, littering tables and floor and furniture. Remnants of disorder, or maybe it’d be better to say signs of celebration?

Sometimes it just comes down to this: how you see the mess.

Celebration can be messy.

It’s tempting to get the broom out and sweep it all away because who in the world wants to look at a mess? But sometimes the temptation to clean up real quick just might lead you to toss out a gift card or two along with the tissue paper. It’s easy to do, if you don’t look close.

The same is true in life. We see the mess and we just want to get rid of it, toss it out, clean it up, throw it away. Maybe even get a bit of peace, please?

Life can be messy, even life the day after Christmas. Maybe even life the day of Christmas. We can be tempted to start tossing. But if we don’t look careful enough, we might just end up tossing out something valuable.

A gift card.

A relationship.

A chance to forgive.

A bit of peace.

Maybe instead of rushing to sweep away the messy parts of life and relationship and family and even failure, we ought to look a little more closely at them.

Maybe the best thing of all is to leave a bit of space.

Space to notice that there actually is something valuable tucked amid the mess, here and there, like that unnoticed gift card whose value is far greater than its size. Space to notice the beauty that’s found it’s way into the mess.

Space to notice the grace that’s just a bit hidden, but still there nonetheless.

Maybe the best thing of all is to just give ourselves some space to let peace in.

Most of the wrapping is gathered up. Boxes folded to save for next time. Tissue that wasn’t shredded during the opening, now flattened and folded nice (yeah, I do that).

I’ve got a bagful waiting to be hauled out to the curb, gathered up yesterday. I’m fairly certain there’s nothing of value in there, but I’m not rushing it street-side just yet, in case someone notices they’re missing something valuable that might’ve found its way in there.

Fact is, there just might be. It’s easy to do, unless you look close.

Sometimes you just need to look a little closer, leave a bit more space for the looking, slow down and not rush in to sweep it all away.

Sometimes peace and joy and grace is hidden right there, in the mess.


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