Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lent: "Cured", or Reflections on Soap

Three weeks ago I bought some soap, my favorite soap ever from Goat Milk Stuff, and decided to get a full "log" of it. I'd long toyed with the idea of getting a three pound, foot long supply of the soap. It always seemed so ... attractively frugal. Like a "victory garden," or sewing my own clothes. But easier.

Anyway, I ordered my soap and it arrived, a long huge bar that I suddenly didn't know what to do with. The website instructed that you cut it in to 1 inch bars of soap and let it cure somewhere with good airflow for 4-6 weeks. And yet it sat, staring at me atop the microwave, having lost any sort of appeal, until I was home on Monday with a toddler who had the flu. I took out my knife and cut it up because enough was enough.

And then I had 14 bars of soap (thinner seemed better), and again I was met with "what do I do with this now?!?!" So I pulled down three Christmas Spode plates, placed my soap on them, and put them all under my bed. To cure. A happy trinity of cleanliness.


In the shower I started thinking about the odd business of curing. A long process, where not much outwardly happens to either the soap or the hopeful bather, and then, at the end, the soap has been transformed into something with a purpose. Something made new. Both soap and bather are the better for it.

I wondered, is this how God works with each of us? And if so, what is each of us being cured for? How long will it take? Will we wake up one morning and just "know" our purpose? Or will it take a strong hand, some water of sorts, and some loud singing to announce that our time has come?

Or in the person of Jesus, we see that He had a long, long curing time, with glimpses of His ultimate purpose and message throughout His life, and then, when all was said and done, His purpose became clear and singular. An entire creation made new. We have all been bathed in Perfect Love.

I do believe that God is curing each of us for something amazing. He is fortifying us for a great purpose, something unique, something sudsy and new. For some of the seasons in our life, we sit, we wait, we possibly wonder about our strange surroundings. (A Christmas plate in Lent, what is going on here?) And in many cases, transformations in our lives are of an inward, soul-centered nature.

Lord, thank you for curing us, for transforming us, for giving us each new purpose. Please let us be patient and understand this act of curing occurs in Your time, not our time. Thank you for sending your Son to make us all squeaky clean and bathed in Your love. Amen :)

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Kath said...

Yes, I like the image of curing. That's helpful.

Shelly Miller said...

I was thinking about the context of Emily Freeman's new book, (soon to be released) about a "Million Little Ways". That God doesn't have just one big thing He wants to do, there a million little ways we are used to reveal Him. Your curing imagery is lovely, sort of a maturing into being useful as we wait on Him.

Paula said...

Thank you Kath and Shelly! I'll have to check out that book. It sounds very inspiring.

Jennifer @ JenniferDukesLee.com said...

You've come up with a grand metaphor here. Thank you for this. So glad you've linked up with us!

Jessica Bates said...

Your title intrigued me and I'm so glad I popped over from our {in}courage group. (My journey post is pending)

Your metaphor really resonates with me. I recently entered into a time a revelation and discovery about myself, (an unexpected one!) and have started attending counseling to get some help to wade through it all. Part way through my first session, my counselor looks and me and says, "This isn't going to just fix you. I want you to have a realistic expectation here."


I KNEW that, of course, but so often, some part of us hopes we'll get a pre-packaged miracle that skips the curing process. I don't want to wait. I want to get clean and move on. But oh, how much better are HIS ways, our Almighty Creator God, creating something new in us!

Thanks for putting this to words!

Jessica Bates said...

I wanted you to know what came of your words...


Paula said...

Jessica :) I can't wait to read what you wrote!! I think my post on Good Friday is going to be about curing, too. OK, I'm off to your blog!