Thank the good Lord that spring cleaning only comes once a year.
Having said that, I’m grousing over having to do it now. Too early. Too annoying.
It really comes down to cleaning windows. Our glass eyes on the world have been neglected for longer than I care to admit. We actually have places where the dog had slobbered on the windows, low to the floor.
The dog’s been dead for over a year.
Needless to say, windows aren’t my thing. But with the house getting a spruce-up, we’re needing to replace the blinds. The old ones had been disintegrated by the sun. With so many holes in them, I actually thought we’d had blind bugs.
Not bugs that can’t see. Bugs that would choose to feast on cheap plastic. Probably not.
With all the blinds down, the Florida sun shines beautifully through those exposed windows. That’s what I’d hoped.
What it really did was enhance the ridiculous amount of gunk that’s accumulated on each and every pane in the house. Something I actually hadn’t really noticed before now. Or hadn’t seen in such wide-screen glory.
So John and I attacked the job of window washing, if not with relish, at least with resolve. We washed away the dog slobber and the plethora of petite fingerprints. We scrubbed off the masking tape they told us to put on our windows during our horrid season of hurricanes almost ten years ago. (It was supposed to keep them from shattering all over the place. It must have worked. The window is still there. So is the tape.)
When we began to see the light really shining through, we were stunned at the difference. It was as if a film had been pulled away; what had been dull became bright.
How had I gotten so used to the dirt?
It hadn’t happened overnight. It had taken weeks, months, years of accumulation to dull the shine of the windows. If it had happened suddenly, I would have noticed.
And I may have done something about it sooner. Or not.
I often don’t notice when the lens on my life gets dirty. Smudged. When I make a compromise here or I settle for less there. The dirt begins building slowly, and I don’t address it. I wallow too long in a bad attitude. I too willingly and gleefully share gossip. Not huge dirt gatherers, but the accumulation slowly increases. I don’t even realize it.
And all of a sudden, dirt has become my norm.
I don’t fool myself. I certainly don’t fool God. He knows my heart and motives and words before I do. He is neither surprised nor put off by any of it.
“We don’t yet see things clearly. we’re squinting in a fog (or through dirty windows), peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing Him directly just as He knows us! I Corinthians 13:12
It’s not just me that’s smudgy. We live in a world that’s smudgy with the accumulated dirt of all our wrong decisions. We may be fooled at times–or act as if it doesn’t matter. But God sees me clearly. In spite of the dirt.
He’s dealt with that dirt.
In Him, through His eyes, I’m as sparkling as clean glass.
I can take a shine to that.
Picture of dirty window courtesy of publicphoto.org.