Rotting Stones

I don’t go to the doctor. Not unless I am absolutely sure I am sick or if it is highly suggested to get a check-up. It’s not because I am afraid of needles or had a bad experience one time. I don’t go because if something is wrong I falsely believe my “wolverine blood” will heal it. Or more likely, I prefer to be ignorant of the crap that is going on inside of me. 

I am like this in other areas of my life, too. If I don’t see it and don't know about it, then there is no problem. But that is not always the wisest way to live. And God showed me the err to my thinking in a section of Leviticus. I won’t lie, this is not the passage I had in mind when I pondered the stones of the Bible; but God moves in ways I’ll never fully comprehend. 

The owner of such a house must then go to the priest and say, ‘It appears that my house has some kind of mildew.’ Before the priest goes in to inspect the house, he must have the house emptied so nothing inside will be pronounced ceremonially unclean. Then the priest will go in and examine the mildew on the walls. If he finds greenish or reddish streaks and the contamination appears to go deeper than the wall’s surface, the priest will step outside the door and put the house in quarantine for seven days. On the seventh day, the priest must return for another inspection. If he finds that the mildew on the walls of the house has spread, the priest must order that the stones from those areas be removed. The contaminated material will then be taken outside the town to an area designated as ceremonially unclean. Next, the inside walls of the entire house must be scraped thoroughly and the scrapings dumped in the unclean place outside the town. Other stones will be brought in to replace the ones that were removed, and the walls will be replastered. - Leviticus‬ ‭14:34-42‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The passage points to the fact that mildew left unchecked inside a wall will rot the rocks and weaken the structure. It will spread to others and promote disease. But God doesn’t just let the houses crumble, He gives them clear instructions to remove the problem:

  • First, the owner has to recognize there is an issue and ask for help. 
  • Next, a quarantine, which brings out the source of the issues. 
  • Then, the infected stones must be removed, the walls must be scraped thoroughly. 
  • Last, new stones will replace the old ones and the walls will be replastered. 

It is possible that this strange part in Leviticus isn’t so far removed from our current state of affairs?

We are in a bit of a huge mess of mildew within our walls, and it’s not going away. The coronavirus isn’t the sickness I’m talking about. It is a catalyst bringing all the stagnant sin to the surface. The sin that is so deep our walls are crumbling from the inside out. 

The past few months brought so much crap to the surface of my heart that I’m not proud to admit. And much like I am with the doctor, it’s easier to pretend it will heal on its own. I have realized how much I judge others based on how they respond to a crisis, and how I walk around with a massive plank in my eye. I’ve learned that I’m ok with uncomfortable conversations only if I’m the one making others uncomfortable. I’m beginning to understand how much I hide behind the mask of ignorance so that I don’t have to change because maybe I’m afraid of what it will cost. These are the stones the Lord has shown me in this season. Yours might look similar, or vastly different. 

But when Jesus reigns within us and our homes, he doesn’t want us to walk around in rotting walls. He desires for our house to be pure and built with integrity. We must be willing to let him climb in, and pull out the infected stones, even when it hurts or makes us uncomfortable.

And while you might be overwhelmed by the contamination, don’t forget that when you asked for help, he not only began to remove the mildew, he put your house on a whole new foundation. 


JL McCarthy

June 9, 2020