Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Hardwood Heart

I hate carpet for one reason.

You can't clean it. You can get most of the spots out. But they'll come back.

Because they weren't ever really gone.

And that's why I love the hardwood floors in my house.

Herds of small children can run around carrying cups of purple grape juice and I don't care.
Babies can leak. I don't care.
Adults can drop pizza, toppings down. I don't care.

Because when handfuls of potato chips are crushed by tiny tootsies, it's no big deal. A broom, maybe the mop. And, voila! Clean floors.

But—I have discovered one problem with my floors.

While the epic spills are easy to clean, the day-to-day droplets of life are a little trickier.

I can dust, sweep, and mop every square inch of my downstairs, and then the light streams through a window and I see it . . . a streak a foot long.

How did I miss it?

I've learned over the past few months that I have to clean my floors during the middle of a sunny day. I open all the blinds, and if you could see me you'd think I was setting up a putt at the Master's. I walk around my living room, squatting down, leaning from side to side, checking the angles.

I haven't lost my mind.

I'm looking for the spots.

I have to hunt them down. And once the light shines on them, I attack.

But no matter how thorough I try to be, I always find more spots.

As I was tackling one of these random spots with a damp paper towel, I thought about how easy it is for me to see the spots in other people's lives. Their judgmental nature. Their negativity. Their harsh spirit. Their sin.

But until the Light shines on their spots, they can't see them.

It dawned on me that in most cases, instead of nagging, I need to be praying. I need to leave the light shining up to The Light. When He's ready to shine His Light on a spot, He'll do it.

Very spiritual of me, huh?


I'm embarrassed to tell you that I had mulled this idea over for a couple of weeks before it occurred to me that maybe—just maybe—there might be spots in MY life that I can't see. That maybe instead of worrying about the obvious spots of others, I ought to be praying for the Light to shine on my own spots.

It's easy for me to see the big spots of my epic failures.

But the spots that build up over the course of the day—the bad attitudes, the pride, the selfishness, the unkind words—are harder to see and so much easier to ignore. I could spend a lifetime trying in my own strength to make myself shiny and spot-free.

But I've realized that my heart is just like my floor.

It can only be cleaned in the bright Light of the Son.

Psalm 51:10 ~ Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (ESV)

(edited from the archives)


Debra Koontz Traverso said...

Love, love, love this analogy. I love how you find meaning everywhere and in everything. And, you always add a creative kick to the message. Thanks for helping us to remember Him, even while we clean those floors.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Deb - Thanks! I've been scrubbing the floors again today - inside & out. Found a LOT of spots. So thankful for His light :-)!