Day 24: In the Details
Updated: Feb 24, 2021
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.--2 Corinthians 1:4
I'm not a person who thinks it makes sense to make one's bed in the morning. I think Jim Gaffigan is right when he says, "I don't tie my shoes after I take them off and put them away so why would I make my bed after I get up in the morning?!" But Lori likes her fluffy pillows and smoothed out duvet (that's fancy talk for poofy blanket) and I like Lori so I make the bed.
If fluffy pillows could talk they would describe our marriage like this: for about 16 years I either didn't make the bed or I did it begrudgingly because I was either asked to or told to do it until about four months ago, when I started making the bed every morning (including the fluffy pillows and poofy duvet) as a part of the "Since you are now forty years old, it's time for you to grow up" life plan. For the most part I still thought making the bed was stupid but I've grown to appreciate it and even on the occasion I have enjoyed it.
Lori has rather appreciated that my mid-life crisis has been marked by a renewed (well, pretty much entirely new) practice of making the bed.
But this morning marked a new bed-making emotion. Stacking the pillows and smoothening out the sheets just how they should go became something more. It became an "I love you," moment. It definitely was not an "I love making the bed because that is just the most fun way to start the day" moment--maybe one day. No, it wasn't about the bed. It was about what making the bed made room for. It was as if Lori was there and I was tucking her into bed, caressing her hair away from her brow so I could kiss it and say good night. It was tender. It was sacramental. It was love. And since it was a mundane and boring detail of my life that emotion really snuck up on me.
When folks read through the Bible they normally start at the beginning, read through Genesis and Exodus but when they get to the book of Leviticus they get lost in all the boring mundane details. It's not an easy read, especially after the excitement of Exodus, but think about what God is doing in those mundane details. He is getting into the nitty gritty of what it looks like to start over, to start fresh. It's a book about the behind the scenes details of a new people, a new society, a new creation. Leviticus is a book about God tenderly working in the mundane details.
Leviticus is where God says, "I know you have been enslaved and it has messed you up but I have liberated you...I will fix you."
Are you familiar with the tenderness of God? Have you had moments where you realized how God was tenderly preparing circumstances in your life merely so he can have a moment where he says loud and clear, "Remember…I love you. I will fix you." It sneaks up on you. It's serendipitous!
Have you been the tenderness of God to someone who needs divine comfort? Have you found yourself in those serendipitous moments where someone desperately needed to hear the exact words that you said, or needed to receive the meal you made for them, or needed the hug or look of encouragement, or needed the exact technical expertise that you could offer? Those are all well-timed messages from the Divine that deliver the comforting, "I love you," through you to someone in desperate need of a generous friend…and it happens in the mundane details with which God has specially gifted you. God's comfort comes through you.
There is a little verse tucked into the story of Jesus' resurrection in John 20 that seems like a small throw away detail but it reveals a tenderness of a God who comforts us.
Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings.--John 20:6–7
He throws away the linen wrappings that covered his body but he folds the cloth that covered Jesus' face. Why? I can only speculate. I like to think of this curious detail as Jesus' way of making the bed at the start of a new day--a New Day. There is something reflective of a new creation here, something "Levitically" detailed, something curious because it is so mundane, beautiful because it happens in a tomb, glorious because it is mysterious. The chords of death no longer bind the one who entered death so he folds them neatly. It's time to make all things new…let's start the new creation life with making the bed.
What is your comfort today? You have a savior who has liberated you is fixing things...making all things new. Now go with your Lord and comfort someone with that same comfort. Look for it in the mundane details.
I confess my desire to find you in the exciting moments of life. Thank you for comforting me in surprising and detailed ways. You really care about the minutia of the mundane. Keep my eyes open to opportunities to bring your comfort to others today, no matter how mundane it may feel. Amen.