My normal work routine lately has included a series of virtual meetings throughout any given day. This day was different.
Our team at the non-profit I work for, Intentional Faith, had arranged to meet “in-person”– being careful to regard best health practices during COVID-19 by taking advantage of the outdoor seating at a local coffee shop — Just Love Coffee. This would be the first time together with our little team in almost 3 months outside of little squares on a computer screen!
Preparing for this long-awaited gathering brought a mix of happy anticipation as well as …anxiety. As I began
thinking over-thinking through all the proper safety measures, I washed my hands multiple times (of course!) and chose a stylish, palm-tree print mask to wear that a friend had made for me.
Somewhere in the mix of the whole process, these words came to mind, “clean hands and a pure heart.” That’s what I needed for today both literally and spiritually …clean hands to stop any spread of the coronavirus and a pure heart to walk out the day in light of God’s heart.
As we gathered at the table, I told a co-worker about my “phrase” for the day — “clean hands and a pure heart” — and he immediately said, “That covers both the coronavirus and the racial issues.”
These are the moments you remember why God created us to live in community. The Spirit will give a thought to one but to another, He’ll give the added notes until the song is complete.
While living out the days filled with pandemic and protests, this short, simple phrase gives wisdom and direction to light the way.
The basic wisdom of good hygiene and clean hands was as practical as any update from the CDC but having a pure heart was just as practical to know how to walk in this season of racial unrest and injustice.
John Piper points out — “Purity of heart is to will one thing, namely, God’s truth and God’s value in everything we do. The aim of the pure heart is to align itself with the truth of God and magnify the worth of God. If you want to be pure in heart, pursue God with utter single-mindedness.”
Hearts overflowing with pure ingredients …no added fillers or fake spiritual facts. No pretense. No prejudice. No bias. Humbly listening. No barriers. Vulnerable and open. Nothing in the way of your view between you and God and how you see others.
Blessed are the pure in heart,Matthew 5:8 (NIV)
for they will see God.
Pandemics call for clean hands. Racial injustice calls for us to have pure hearts if we’re going to live out the heart of Jesus.
It takes a single-minded focus on the pure ingredients from the pages of recipes in God’s word.
Arrogant opinions and self-promoting platforms contaminate. Humility and love purify.
Adding a little harmony to the melody line …here’s the phrase in the context of the specific song in Psalms.
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,from Psalm 24 (NIV)
who seek your face, God of Jacob.
Last week the phrase that carried me was “Do. Love. Walk.” This week, “clean hands and a pure heart.” Each week …trusting the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct my paths. Join me …trusting the Father to lead us as we walk into this uncharted territory.