Last Sunday, I was complaining. “Aw, it’s still purple. I hate purple. Lent is taking FOREVER!”

Today, we cleaned A Certain Church. And everything at the altar was red.

And I says to myself, I says, “NO! It can’t be Easter yet! I’m not ready yet! I haven’t done enough! Can we wait another week?”

One more week.
I’ll be ready then.
Really, I promise!

I’ll have my house in order. I’ll have prayed, I’ll have done charitable acts, I’ll be ready to welcome God’s Annointed, the Messiah. I’m not ready yet!

I ran about with other parishoners, cleaning madly. Clucking over gum in the pews, crayon marks, scuff marks, scrubbing at windows, hauling out ladders to get the high corners (and freaking out as the music director climbed a ladder with a shop vac to get the dust off of the rafters over the altar). We counted hymnals and prayerbooks and debated what to do with the ratty paperback Bibles in the racks and how exactly to repair the cracked pews up front.

It’s an old parish with not much in the way of financial gifts. At one point, we had to give up, say “That’s as good as we can get it.”

It makes me sad, and it annoys my perfectionist streak. We must have everything perfect! Get palm branches! Throw your coats on the floor so the King doesn’t have to walk on regular ol’ dirt!

I wonder who wasn’t at the parade, though. I wonder who was in their houses, cleaning furiously. Who missed out because they didn’t feel they were good enough, to soil the King with their presence. I wonder what they missed.

I wonder what I’ll miss, if I keep trying to be the perfect one.

Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of Glory may come in.

Psalm 24:7


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