When my little granddaughter comes over… we have a little ritual game of hide and seek. Sabrina, our cat hides and Emmaline seeks to find her. Under our bed is usually Sabrina’s go to haven. With the dust ruffle providing a cave-like atmosphere and various and sundry books tucked away and scattered about underneath, Sabrina’s glowing eyes are the only evidence of her presence. So one day, I got out my flashlight. Sweet little Emmaline loved pointing the light under the bed to find her. Game over! Recently however, she has become enamored with the flashlight itself. In her quest for pointing the column of light at various objects around the room, I discovered that my cleaning skills have much to be desired. The overhead light, of course, lets me see the majority of the space, but the laser pointed focus of a flashlight beam uncovers a lot more. Cobwebs in the corners, dust bunnies under the bed, even a few creepy crawlers that have become comfortable in the shadows of the edges and behind the legs of furniture. Oh my! On the surface, the room looked pretty decent, but the flashlight uncovered the fact that my work was far from being accomplished. I have a little cleaning to do.
That experience uncovered a Tree Star and
reminded convicted me with a piece of writing from Jen Hatmaker: “Anytime we either imagine someone else LESS-THAN ourselves or MORE-THAN – whether overtly, subtly, instinctively, or blindly – our society disintegrates a bit more. The way I act looks better than the way I think, and that is no better than overt personal supremacy.
What I discovered with the flashlight in the cleanliness, or lack thereof, in my bedroom is exactly what I discovered about the cleanliness of my heart. The way I act may look pretty decent in the overhead light of day to day, but things tucked away in corners of my heart may need a more specific beam of light to uncover the darkness that may lie within my thinking.
The recent stream of current events induced by hatred, whipped up by prejudice, and compounded by racism, in equal measure from all sides, have been cause for much self-examination. I discovered that I need to begin this discussion with me. What lies behind my words and my silence? Who are the people whom I consider LESS THAN, because if I am to be honest, they are there. Are these thoughts hidden in the cobwebs of denial or justification for some perceived wrong? Are there excuses camouflaged behind my upbringing? Are my beliefs covertly disguised in the shadows where no one can see them? As Christians, we know that Jesus considers a heart condition to be just as damming as overt action. Matthew 5: 27-28. So….I got out my flashlight with its focused beam of light. I pray that the Lord will direct that light onto what lies hidden, camouflaged, and disguised to see and hate those things where they exist. I have a little cleaning to do. My work is far from being accomplished.
But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.” ~Acts 10:23-29