Unfortunately, I think I err on the side of focusing critically on the rubbish. If ever this masquerades as humility, let me assure you, it's not. It's a more subtle form of pride, actually, for it puts me in disagreement with God. When I focus on my rubbish, to the exclusion of seeing beneath it to the creative and breathtaking ways that God works tirelessly to redeem it, I refuse to agree with Him that He sees me as a beautiful, and dare I say, perfect creation. I can claim that, not by my own merit, character or track record, but solely because in Christ's death and resurrection it is so. I assume a new identity: perfect, holy, beautiful, blameless, forgiven.
Let me be clear here: God doesn't make junk. He doesn't create rubbish. When I say I have rubbish in my life, I am dead wrong if I imply that I am the rubbish. Contrary to what some theology encourages, I don't believe it brings glory and pleasure to God to hear those He has redeemed (those who have received Christ, whose lives are now in Him) going about with the "I am a despicable worm, a sinner saved by grace" language. Once we're in Christ, we are new creations. We may still sin, but we are not sinners. It may seem like a subtle distinction or semantics, but it's not. There's a big difference, because one denotes an ongoing wrestling match with something other than ourselves - that is, the sin. And one denotes an identity. Sin is no longer my identity in God's eyes. Christ becomes my identity, and because He is perfect, the reflection of Christ's perfection is what God sees in me.
This may seem like a lot of spiritual mumbo jumbo to some, but to me, it's freedom. It's mystery. It's scandal. It's hope. It's beauty beyond what the eyes can see, the hands can touch or the imagination can stretch. It's grace heaped upon grace, mercy that brings a flood of relief. It's empowering in its truth, sobering in its magnitude. It brings me to my knees, not as a filthy sinner, but as a humble and grateful recipient of a gift I could never earn or pay back.
It's Holy week, and this is beautiful rubbish in action.