Dirty Handprints

“It’s time to eat!”

 Usually the words brought my boys running toward the door, but they were engaged in a light saber battle with invisible foes on the other side of our yard. Calling out again, I leaned against the corner wall next to our lanai doors to wait. 

Even though it had been a cloudy day, the summer sun gave one final dazzling explosion of sunlight. Bright rays of flame-lit gold shot across the yard and into our lanai, illuminating the corner wall I waited against.

I glanced down and frowned.

Up and down the corner were faint, child-sized handprints. The prints climbed the corner wall, evoking images of boys hanging from tree limbs and little fingers searching for bugs in wet dirt and grass.

The handprints were large misshapen freckles on the light tan wall.

How quickly things get dirty again. I need to clean those off.

The entire inside of our house had been painted over two years ago, and I could no longer ignore the marks, handprints and scuffs that were appearing…side effects of having active, dirt-loving boys.

Grabbing a couple wipes, I scrubbed at the handprints vigorously. With the powerful rays of light guiding me, I began erasing the offending marks that had gripped the corner wall for too long.

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:5-9).

In each of our lives are grimy handprints of sin. Whether one believes in the Cross of Calvary and God’s inerrant Word or not doesn’t change the truth. The smudges are there, and they show the true condition of our soul…darkly marked-up and broken.

Because of the dirty handprints we’re far removed from God, who “is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

Oh, but grace. Beautiful Savior, Beautiful grace

Through the sacrificial blood of God’s perfect Son, the dirty handprints of sin can be erased in our lives. Only through Jesus and the cross.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Oswald Chamber’s said, “the great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the divine nature [the pureness, wholeness, and light of God] to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so…The love of God means Calvary – nothing less!” 

I finished scrubbing the corner and breathed a sigh of relief. The searching sunlight showed no evidence of handprints.

We cannot come before our perfect Maker marred by the dark grime of this world. Only through faith in Jesus and with the forgiveness of sin are we able to approach the throne of God with confidence, because our Savior thoroughly and lovingly wiped the dirty handprints from the wall of our soul. 

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1:29).


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