Clean up time

I spilled coffee on the little rug in my sanctuary. A splotch of brown on ivory, right at my feet. The room is tiny and cramped, meant for prayer and Bible reading. Every day, I wrinkled my nose at the spot. I envisioned removing everything from the room, a serious chore, and turning the rug so that the spot would be hidden on the far outer edge.

In the basement, I found some Dollar Store carpet cleaner, probably 10 years old. It won’t work on a coffee stain, I thought. I should have tackled it right away, but I didn’t notice it, till the spill dried. And there it stayed.

A strawberry-rhubarb pie ran over in the over, making a gooey mess. I used a metal spatula to get the worst of it, before it hardened to glue. Days went by. “Don’t use the oven!” I told my husband.

Two weeks ago, I finally found some chat time with a friend from my old church—the one I left because I could not support their charismatic doctrines, because the cross was obscured. She said I’d be back, and I said I would not. Not while this person and that were there. I carried a grievance born of rejection. That’s silly when it is the Lord Himself who calls you out. But it’s human.

The conversation, and yet another with two Charismatic friends–one still thinks it would be grand to go to Toronto—rekindled the eye-rolling impatience I have with this movement’s frivolity. And, I came to see, that it also stirred up the hurt inside and brought the stain of bitterness to the surface.

You cannot suppress deep-seated emotions. They pop up in many ways. For me, it is in irritations at the smallest things (the coffee pot water ran all over the counter this morning) and in anger.

Today, I finally got down on my knees and took a Brillo pad to the oven. It cleaned up before the breakfast bacon finished cooking.

I took the Dollar Store carpet cleaner to the loft and soaked the coffee stain. With a few swipes of a wet rag, it vanished.

In the midst of wiping it away, Wisdom brought Truth into focus.

Our Bible study last night focused on Galatians 5 and verses 13-15: You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Pausing before the Lord, I said: I don’t want this anger. I choose obedience. I am rejected, but so were You. I am misunderstood and ridiculed, thought misguided. Far worse was said and done to You.

Our Bible study teacher shared of being reviled by church brothers—his reputation shredded. The Lord told him: Don’t fight the nails.

I sat here thinking: I’m still fighting the nails, stewed in pride, tempted to anger.

How I wish my stains could vanish as quickly as that coffee spill. Then I realized: submitted to the Lord, they do.




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2 Responses to Clean up time

  1. mkayla says:

    OH my dear! I never thought of the anger, the frustration, the feelings of rejection in that way – or as the scripture stated, an indulgence of the flesh. I too need a brillo pad, carpet cleaning solution with time spent on my knees! How many moments have I spent with these “indulgences” never seeing them for what they truly were/are…??

    This is great insight, mind if I grab it?

  2. Pingback: Clean Up Time | m'kayla's korner

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