The doorbell rang and I froze, dust rag in hand.
Piles of laundry were still scattered across the couch, toys and crumbs littered the floor, precariously-stacked dishes adorned the counters. My eyes darted frantically from the clock to my surroundings.
She’d arrived early, and despite my painstaking efforts to prettify our new house with fresh and stylish décor, there was no getting around this glaring mess. I’d have to invite her right into it. I cringed at the prospect.
Have you ever been in the same boat?
I wonder if we’d react the same way if we learned that Jesus—the most important guest of all time—was about to make an impromptu visit. Would we run around in a panic trying to tidy and clean? Would we throw miscellaneous junk behind a closed door, or maybe straighten the holy statues and icons on the wall? Would we busy ourselves trying to put together an impressive meal?
Despite my rough start, the visit with my own unexpected guest was ultimately filled with the same kind of joy that Zacchaeus showed when He received Jesus. Within a few minutes of her arrival I’d nearly forgotten my messy surroundings. We lingered in faith-filled conversation, and when we finally parted ways she left me with a hug, a full heart, and laughter that echoed through the house as she strode toward her car. I smiled and waved a farewell from the wide-open door, suddenly unconcerned with appearance.
That’s what authentic love does.
It takes inventory not of external riches, but of inner longing and poverty—and there plants the seeds of more love.
And, as Zacchaeus himself experienced by welcoming in the very Person of Authentic Love, those seeds result in divine riches and bear eternal fruit. (Luke 19:4).
The funny thing is, while Zacchaeus went all out trying to seek Jesus, in reality Jesus was already seeking him—by name.
He’s seeking us too, sisters. He’s knocking right now at the door of your heart. Will you keep it closed out of shame and hide behind the mess? Will you build a pretty façade of riches and shuffle the junk to the background? Or can you, in your littleness, invite Him in to the reality He already sees, to deposit the soul-refining love He’s already reserved just for you?
Take a spiritual inventory of your heart today, sisters. Really consider those areas you’d rather keep hidden in darkness and invite Jesus in through the Sacrament of Penance to shine divine light, and turn your poverty to riches with His purifying love.
Megan Hjelmstad is a wife and mom 24/7 and an Army Reservist in her “spare” time. She’s a bibliophile, tea drinker, sleep lover, and avid admirer of Colorado’s great outdoors. When the writing bug hits, you can find out more about her here.