My honking Egyptian geese are still with me, honking early and sometimes late, and continually leaving me not-so-little “gifts” on the porch and sidewalk. How lovely of them! When I moved to the Hill Country and simplified my life, I was looking forward to leaving some of my most dreaded chores behind. Granted the chores are far less, but somehow what’s left of the cleaning and upkeep is just a bit different. In our city home, we were the wildlife. Not so in the Hill Country.
However, for the twenty-six years we lived in the city, I had a contract out on the man whose idea it was to make white ceramic floor tile. I figured it had to be a man because men don’t see a need to mop. Men don’t see a need to mop because they have a God-given, innate, in-ability to see dirt—even if it is a big splat of peanut butter and strawberry preserves on a white ceramic tile floor.
So for twenty-six years, because I could see dirt and I didn’t like dirt (especially where I cooked), I swept and mopped a rather large kitchen and breakfast room floor quite frequently, frequently enough that the vinegar caused our house to smell like a pickle-making factory.
I thought the floor would be cleaner when the girls got married and only Bill and I were in the house—not so. They weren’t the ones who dripped peanut butter and jelly and dropped Fritos on the floor. So I continued burning candles to get rid of the smell of vinegar in the mop water.
It wasn’t until we had new ceramic tile installed in our bathroom that I began to appreciate the white tile. The new bathroom tile was more natural and earthy in color and tended to hide the dirty tracks of the one who spent his morning working in the rose garden or to disguise the sawdust shaken from the clothes of the one who labored in his workshop. It didn’t take long to realize I was walking around on a dirty new tile floor and tracking it through the rest of the house—because now—I couldn’t see the dirt on my new, earthy-colored tile.
Seems to me there may be a deeper implication here. When Jesus cleaned me up, He made my “scarlet sins as white as snow”—whiter than my spotless white tile floor. So out of my gratitude for His cleansing, I work daily with Jesus’ help to keep the rooms of my life clean—pure and white. Then when the dirt of sin creeps in (and it does), I can see it more readily. I know to ask for forgiveness and make the necessary changes. If the rooms of my life are already cluttered and caked with dirt, I am unable to see the most recent dirty tracks and splatters. Then I neglect asking for forgiveness, and my relationship to my Creator Father God will not be what it could be.
I still don’t like mopping, and I have cancelled the hit-man contract for the maker of white tile floors and renewed it for the maker of dark, hardwood floors. The dust on these dark floors is as annoying as my honking geese. But maybe I’ll drop that contract, too. After all, the floors are quite lovely for a short while after the mop water dries, and the smell of vinegar reminds me of the smells in Mama’s kitchen when her famous barbecue sauce is bubbling. And when I find peanut butter and strawberry preserves on the floor, I’ll just be grateful we had something to eat and I didn’t have to cook it.