We move next week to Union Gap, Washington – east of the Cascade mountain range in eastern Washington. Not as far east as Spokane – but more centrally located. This a great location – about 2 1/2 hours either direction and about an hour from Leavenworth or Tri-Cities area.
When you move – you CLEAN. At least you should. And I don’t mean a light dusting over cupboards and surfaces. I mean deep cleaning in places that haven’t been touched in YEARS. You know – the crevices. The dark dingy places too high up to bother with. I mean – no one sees them, right? But when you move you KNOW your renters will see it. And so like good landlords, we are painting and cleaning with vigor and hoping and praying that our new place over the mountains will be as clean waiting for us as we are leaving our home.
I’ve never considered myself a “clean freak”. In fact – I’m not! Far from it! But compared to how some people live – I guess I am. I purposely didn’t choose dogs that shed because I don’t want to deal with pet hair everywhere and in my bed. And I’m not a fan of bad smells. My nose tells me something is wrong in the garbage long before Greg thinks it’s time to empty it. I can sniff out odors better and faster than most people and I am known as the music teacher who always has my house smelling good. Students used to come and stand in my entry way and “sniff”. “Your house ALWAYS smells so GOOD”!, They would say.
Much to my dismay, not all people have the same high standards for pet odors, smoke and garbage smells. I even smelled cat urine upon approaching the entry way to our new home and Greg knows he will have to power wash and do other things to get rid of all bad smells both inside and out. Thank goodness for new carpets and candles until all the former odors dissipate.
I realize that “smells” are something we get used to. I dated someone in high school whose home had a really bad odor that I could never identify. He and everyone else living there had simply gotten used to it and didn’t notice it.
Dirt, grime and garbage are other things we can get used to. I don’t mean clutter. I mean dirt, grime and garbage. Sometimes I may have a lot of papers, and other clutter – or things not put away in their proper place. But you will rarely find bathrooms or the kitchen intolerable or even downright gross in this house. And again, I am NOT a clean freak!
Sometimes I wonder if we can take another lesson from real life. How’s your “heart” nose? Have you become just used to dirt, grime and garbage filling up your mind and emotions? Or are you sensitive to the many wrong things happening in our culture today? Does it bother you? Do you call it out and want better things long before others do? Are your personal standards for yourself higher than that? But do you just slide over the deep cleaning work that is needed for some areas of your heart and mind? A “renewing” of your mind? Do you become judgmental to others who don’t appear to have it all together, like you? If so – you may be one of us who wants and longs for quality in ourselves and others around us. But you may also be blinded by your own awesomeness. A true humble spirit and compassion is what your neighbors really need. You may be the moral compass that God is calling you to be. A “light” in a dark world. Not afraid to forge ahead – cut through the garbage and filth to get to the truth. But BE CAREFUL!
If I learned anything today from watching Russell Wilson‘s testimony and other teammates in the Seahawks – it is this: You don’t have to clean yourself up to come to God. He does the cleaning. Come as your are” Can my picky clean “nose” really tolerate others who do not get it yet? Can I keep from judging and love them just as they are? That is the challenge to all of us who call ourselves Christians. After God cleans us – we need to let others know that we did not become this way out of our own awesomeness. We were filthy dirty once. Can we adjust our nose to see beyond? To love people where they are? I am soon going to have an opportunity to do just that. Love people right where they are and just how they live. To point them toward Jesus who will love them right where they are and who has the power to clean them up. Can I do it? I hope and pray so.
How’s your nose?