I use to laugh when I heard that phrase. Growing up, I don't ever remember my mother asking that question. I never asked that question until I moved here. Now I ask the question often to my dear son. Dust is everywhere. Just imagine a sweaty boy and dust, the combination leads to a lot of scrubbing. I will be sitting next to Big D and all of a sudden my eyes are drawn to this darkish brown spot on his neck or behind his ear. This either leads to Big D giving the cleaning another try or his mommy getting to give it a try. He does a good job of getting the obvious dirt at least most of the time. The spots he misses are usually the ones that are hard to see even if you were looking in a mirror.
Sometime my relationship with God is like the dirty spots behind the ears. I know the obvious things that need to be taken care of in terms of the sin in my life but often overlook the more subtle things. I am glad that God looks behind my ears. In Psalms 139, David prays "Search me O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." God often reveals to me that my motivation behind my actions is self serving or my lack of action is as bad as the wrong action. God truly knows if my priorities are in order. The goal is for there to be less of me and more of God. Paul reminds me in Galatians that "I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me." By God's grace, I can be what He wants me to be even if it sometimes takes a little washing behind the ears.
Dear God, Thank you that you never give up on me even when I mess up again and again. Thank you that for forgiveness and living in me. May I pray as David did that you would search me and know my heart. May you be glorified in all things. Amen