I moved the bin from under my child’s bed and saw it. The bright red stain on the carpet glared at me in all its glory. “You’ve got to be kidding me” I thought to myself.
When we moved into the rental house, I had several rules to help us keep the light colored carpet clean. “No food or drink outside the kitchen” was one of those rules. However, now I could clearly see that one of my children had disobeyed that rule. Even worse, I had no idea how long the red liquid had been sitting and soaking into the carpet. The chances of it coming out were slim to none.
As I got the carpet cleaner out and sat down to begin the battle, I thought to myself, “I bet this is going to cost me.” I couldn’t remember how our lease agreement read, but I am sure “red stain on carpet” probably had a penalty!
As I scrubbed the carpet, I replayed it all in my mind.
I hade made the rules very clear, but it had not mattered, and now I would have to pay for someone else’s disobedience. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks; that is the story of the gospel! Living, image-bearers of God were created in the garden. They were clearly given the rules, however they chose to disobey. Their sin could not be covered up or overlooked and payment was required. The payment had to be made not by the person who broke the rules but by the person who made them.
Suddenly the frustration I felt towards my child turned inward to my own heart. How many times have I known the rules and chosen to disobey? How many times have I hidden my sin hoping no one else would see?
As we enter the month of December, the story of God’s love is on display everywhere. It is a reminder to me that I also have red stains on the carpet of my life, and that a high price was paid for my disobedience.
Before you know it, the Christmas season will be over.
The gifts will be open, the Christmas decorations boxed back up for another year, and life will return to its normal routine.
I want to encourage you to take the time to reflect on your own red stains and the price paid. Do what you have to simplify the season. If you are a busy mom and the thought of sending out Christmas cards is too much, then don’t!
One thing I have learned over the years, is that the season isn’t about the beautiful packages, the perfect family photograph on the card, or the biggest spread of food cooked to perfection. The season is about the stain of sin and the extravagant gift of love that was given to remove the stain. If you have never known of His love, I pray that you will this Christmas season.
The stain on the carpet of my child’s room is only temporal, but the stain on my heart, if not removed, is eternal. Thankfully God is much better at removing stains than I am!