Everyone loves miracles. They’re the stuff of tear jerking movies: emotional, inspirational and neatly packaged in one hour and thirty minutes.

But real life transformation: the process of changing years of wrong thinking and the bad habits born of them. That’s time consuming and messy. No one has the time or the grace for that these days.

We’re too busy posting optical illusions on social.


This month we celebrate the crucifixion, burial, and the resurrection of Jesus. Christians love it because it’s the basis of our faith.

But I’m reminded of another resurrection when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.

The miracle? That Jesus raised anyone from the dead, but especially someone who’d been dead for four days. Absolutely amazing!

The messy part? Jesus’ instruction to those who buried Lazarus. “Loose him and let him go.”

NOTE: You can be brought back to life and still need people to help you shed stuff no longer serving you.


Can you imagine the smell of the burial cloths he’d been wrapped in while his body started decaying during those four days?

It had to be gross. So, you’d have to love Lazarus and be so grateful he was alive to stomach the smell while you help free him.

And you know what? Lazarus smelled it too.

He was alive. His sense of smell intact, he appreciated the stench. I wouldn’t be surprised if he felt self-conscious about his stinky life, as he depended on others to see him through his transformation.

The last thing he’d want to hear are snide remarks about how long it took or how he ended up in this predicament in the first place.

Yet, we give each other grief on our healing journeys.

We act as if our decision to repent (change our minds about God and the direction we’re going) means we shouldn’t make any mistakes. It should be smooth sailing from here on out.

But change is messy because people are messy.


If you’re ever done any kind of renovation, you know it never goes according to plan. Something you didn’t account for always pops up at the worst time, costing more than you want to pay.

Sin has that effect on people.

The problem is we have more empathy for our road to victory than the person next to us. One wrong move and you’re canceled, blasted on social media with the proverbial, “How could you?”

We forget what Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am who I am.”


Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

Galatians 6:1, NLT

So when your bandages smell on the way to recovery, when your attitude is off or you make poor choices. Don’t be discouraged by negative comments from random bystanders. They never invested in you.

Look for your people like the one’s outside of Lazarus’ tomb.

Who even though they watched you going down and finally gave up hope, when they see Jesus at work in you, love you enough to rally around you and remove the rags that trip you up sometime.

And may you extend that same grace to others.

But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results…yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.

1 Corinthians 15:10, NLT

I’m rooting for you!


Vanessa A. Harris modeling her Mercy Met Messy tshirt design.


The old folks would sing, “If it had not been for the Lord on my side, where would I be?” Jesus met me with His mercy and paid for all my mess on the Cross. That’s Good News!

Share it with those who need to hear it. Use the shirt as an icebreaker.


Got A Minute to Pray? Prayer channel on YouTube featuring prayers about a minute long written and read by Vanessa A. Harris.

Prayer Changes Things

Join me on YouTube as I pray a quick prayer to get you going in the right direction. Nothing replaces quality time with Jesus, but if you’re new to Christ and prayer feels awkward, I’m happy to pray with you.

And because these prayers are based on God’s Word, you can be confident you’re praying according to His will.

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