By Cheryl Scanlan

God did a major work on me 10 years ago through my, then, nine year old son. Having just come home from hockey, he smelled like a locker room, the odor quickly making its way around the house, settling into the corners of the lower level. I encouraged
him to hop in the shower immediately.

About twenty minutes later I popped my head into the steamy bathroom and asked him to wrap it up. He came into the kitchen while I was making sandwiches for lunch and before long, I thought I caught a whiff of something. Within a few minutes, the whole kitchen smelled like a locker room!

”Didn’t you just take a shower?” I asked, wondering how he could still smell so bad.
“Yeah Mom, why?” He wondered innocently.
“Well, did the soap run out in the shower?” I probed, looking for a logical explanation.
“No Mom, why?” He asked again, wondering what in the world was wrong with me.

“Well,” I began struggling with what to ask next, “did you wash with the soap?”
”No Mom, I didn’t need to, I just stood there and let the water run over me.” He answered confidently.

“Honey, please go shower again and this time, wash yourself with soap and scrub your
head with shampoo – letting the water skim over you is not going to clean you up!”

He trotted off, making his customary leap to slap the top molding of the doorway leading out of the kitchen, creating another waft of old sweat.

As the water ran again upstairs I found myself talking to God about my devotional life.

There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes,
Yet is not washed from his filthiness.
(Prov 30:12)

How many times have I sat down to read the Bible, skimming through the words, expecting them to wash me clean from yesterday’s ungodly thoughts or last year’s bad habits? Like the water that ran over my son’s skin, the Word simply glided over my soul, unable to do its great cleansing work! Earlier I had thought about how much water my son had wasted.

Now I thought about how much time I had wasted! Too often, I remain tarnished and God remains hidden from others because I haven’t bathed properly in His Word.

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Cor 7:1)

My quiet times have changed since then. I still sometimes get lazy and the water winds up cascading over me like it would duck feathers. But no longer can I fool myself with thinking its effective. I am not made of feathers and I do need to scrub.

God is so practical!

So before I go back out into the world, where’s the soap?


Cheryl has, since 2004, been helping clients realize sustainable, transformational change and growth through Way of Life Coaching LLC. Find out more about Cheryl here