|Photo by M. Torsello|
But today, a greater event would occur. My father was to return back home from his thirteen-week business trip to Aznakayevo, a city in Russia. To tell you the truth, I was excited more about his return than about a party celebrated with the rich ill-mannered obnoxious kids of our tight-knit community.
Anyway, the party had not started and I was bored to death, so I figured I'd go play in the backyard then come back in and take a bath. So I packed my hair in a bun and put on my favorite shorts. I ran past all the people setting up in the yard and went straight for the pond. I forgot that it would be slippery at this time of the day and was running too fast. It so happened that a stone shifted under my right foot as I ran causing me to slip and land painfully head-on into the mud by the pond. I was just glad I didn't fall into the pond. I started to giggle, it could have been worse. I sat down there with my muddy face and began to throw stones into the pond, hoping no one would find me. And that was when I heard his voice...
"Where is my daughter?"
Daddy...daddy!!! It was him. He was back. Yes!!!
I stood up with my muddy face, muddy hands, and muddy shorts and began to run back towards the house. Just as I entered through the back door I felt someone grab my right hand. It was my mother.
"Where have you been Temisan? I've been looking all over for you!"
"Well, you have to take a bath. Your pa can't see you like this."
Without waiting for my response she lifted me and went straight for the bath, while I cried because I wanted to see my daddy. She put me in the tub and ran the hot water. She transformed me from muddy to sparkling clean in less than five minutes. After my bath, I dressed up and went down the stairs. There he was, standing tall and firm. He opened his arms and I ran straight into them. He lifted me and kissed me.
"I'm back home Temisan. Daddy is back home."
|Photo by ad-sight|
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Today's celebrities are those who have once been muddy but are now washed clean. They are called the "pure in heart."
The Greek word for "Pure" is καθαροὶ (Katharos). Before Christianity, Katharos was used to represent many things:
"physically clean; free from admixtures (e.g. pure water and plain white bread); free from debt; free from guilt; free from pollution; a pure race; a document that is free from errors; pure wine or milk that hasn't been adulterated by water."
As I observed these original meanings I began to reflect on what Jesus must have meant by saying blessed are the "pure in heart."
Being pure in heart doesn't mean you weren't ever muddy. Or imperfect.
But it means that you've been placed inside the tub of the blood of Jesus, and His blood has WASHED you and made you unadulterated; giving you a focus on the one true thing that really matters. As human beings we go out each day and to get the pollutants off our skins we have to take our showers. To be free from debt we (or someone) has to pay up. To be free from guilt we have to be forgiven. To be a pure race our parents have to be of the same origin. To have an error-free document, it has to be edited. All these things form the origin of the word, but in Matthew 5 Jesus spoke of "purity" with respect to the "things of God": being free from the things of the world.
The Chemistry Class:
If you've ever attended a Chemistry class (specifically "Separation Techniques"), you will know that there are various techniques like crystallization or distillation by which we can purify adulterated mixtures. At the end of the process, you will get the pure compound. That's how it is with God. He can look at our muddy faces and still plant kisses on our foreheads because He sees our hearts and our hearts have been crystallized (separated) from our faces. He has freely given us His son (who is also His word) so that we can have freedom from the impurities of this world. And the ones whose hearts will willingly be washed by His Word will see God.
They will not remember the times they fell head on into the mud. They will not remember their former sins or previous helpless states. But they will be washed by God's word and they will have a different mindset, "a pure heart."
I'll leave you with an excerpt from William Barclay's book:
"How then shall we translate, Blessed are the Katharoi in heart? We must think of it this way- Blessed are those whose motives are absolutely unmixed, whose minds are utterly sincere, who are completely and totally single-minded. What a summons to self-examination is here! Here is the most demanding beatitude of all...the blessedness is to the man with the motive that is as pure as clean water..."
I don't know if this is the most demanding character in God's celebrities, but I believe that the purpose thereof is to bring out the best in all of us; to wash out the mud and cause us to focus on God's heart. To remove the scales from our eyes so we can see God clearly. I'd love to read your comments on "the pure in heart" too. Have a beautiful day/night :)
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