Monday, December 5, 2011

Out, Out, Dark Spot!

Photo credit: sanja gjenero
Each year when spring bustles in, I have good intentions of spring cleaning. I remember my mom turning the house upside down and inside out, washing windows, cleaning carpets, and searching out every mote of dust like a blood hound on the scent.

But with the busyness of spring on the farm, all the extra school activities, and all the dust kicked up by the farm machinery, I rarely have the time or the desire to spring clean.

But come fall, it's a different story. I usually host both Thanksgiving and Christmas and when you throw in Justice's New Year's Day birthday and assorted gatherings of friends and church family, we have a lot of company between the middle of November and mid-January. So the house that looked "okay" in the spring is really in need of a deep cleaning to become company-worthy.

A few weeks ago as I hit the house hard in a yellow rubber-gloved frenzy, I texted back and forth with my friend, who happens to clean houses for a living. We were bemoaning the fact that we were stuck indoors on a warm, sunny fall day. God reminded me of another truth as I texted this sentence:

Thankful it's sunny--always easier to see the dirt w/sun shining.

Even as I typed, my heart beat faster at the truth of that statement, for it is always when we apply the Son to our lives that the dirt shows up. Every time I bow my heart in prayer, each time I immerse myself in the Bible, whenever I spend time studying God's truths, it is like a giant, cosmic spotlight shines into my heart and life exposing all the dirt lurking deep inside. The cobwebs of selfishness are illuminated. The crumbs of impatience stand out in stark contrast. The ugly, dirty sins of my life can't hide in the presence of the Son.

And, just like my house in the fall, when the dirt is evident, it makes it all the easier to sweep, mop, dust, steam, or wipe it out.

This holiday season as you prepare and clean our homes, let's commit to preparing and cleaning our hearts as well.

Nikki Studebaker Barcus