Aeneas and Dorcas

Acts 9:31-43

A brilliant interior designer shows up at your home, knocks on your door and offers her services… free of charge. She’ll tear down, clean out and recreate on her dime. Imagine this also; you don’t open your door. Or perhaps you do, but only to show the “decent” rooms for fear of being judged by the dated ones. Or finally, you walk her through every square inch of peeling wallpaper and splintered floors, only to deny her services on account of nothing being wrong or conversely being too far gone.

In Acts 9 Peter stays for some time in Joppa at the house of Simon, the Tanner. We learned this is significant, as a Tanner was at the bottom of the Jewish totem pole. Peter’s willingness to house with social scum is a representation of the Holy Spirit’s desire to inhabit us in our mess.

If God were the interior designer of our souls, offering free grace and redemptive purity, what is our response to his everyday knock? Sometimes it’s easiest to simply not open. Too lazy, too busy or too painful to think of what the process could be. Other times we pick and choose aspects of ourselves to be exposed, hiding behind our masks of shame. Denial of sin and despair are two other grace-stoppers and Spirit suppressors.

In a twist of irony, Purity Himself wants to inhabit exactly the places we are filthy and off-putting. Why? C.S. Lewis says it best:

“The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

Today, answer the knock and let Him in. He wants to rebuild in you a palace.

Think:

Take some time to reflect on your normal answer to the Spirit’s knock, if at all. How might we better welcome the Spirit into our every aspect of our lives this week?

Father, we pray for greater openness to your invitation for free grace.