Friday, October 22, 2010
Just Call Me Alice
For the last three days I've been a cleaning machine.
I've dusted ceiling fans and scrubbed baseboards, I've moved furniture and fixed wobbly table legs, I've vacuumed carpets and mopped hardwood floors. I've laundered slipcovers and tried my best to rid my world of dog hairs and dust bunnies.
Somebody better hide Tanner the Slobber Dog or I might vacuum him too.
So why the white tornado of cleanliness?
You've got me.
In about eight hours, sixty some teenagers will descend upon my house for a pasta dinner, to get their bodies pumped up for tomorrow's race, but I'm pretty certain that nobody will notice my grime-free piano keys (seriously, how do piano keys get dirty?) or that for this very moment in time, I'm completely caught up on laundry. (In case you're wondering, that sound you hear is the chorus of angels.)
But I'll hug those kids anyway.
Their visit gave me just the gift I needed: a reason to tidy up a bit. The chance to get carried away.
As I was scrubbing tubs and erasing smudges, my brain took a few days off. I worked out my stress of my son's doctor visits of the last few months, the crumpled, upside down car of last week, the questions of where I'm going, what God may have for me.
I took it out on the dirt and it felt good.
I noticed filth I'd never noticed before. I know I'm no neatnik, but really?
The house was that dirty?
I'd been staring at it every day and never saw it.
The shock made me look a little harder at the other corners of my house. At the corners of my mind.
You can get so used to looking at something you just don't see it anymore.
As I cleaned, a song from my college years kept coming to mind. It was "Create in me a clean heart oh God..." It was John Michael Talbot's version, probably because there I was, monk-like, on the floor, scrubbing.
The song prompted me to look up Psalm 51. I'm just crazy about how The Message words it:
Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean,
scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don't look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don't throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Don't you love that? I do.
Okay, God. I'm standing tall, arms outstretched.
Breathe your breath on me. I'm ready to sail!
Does a clean-fest work wonders for you? What do you do that gets you out of your head, to work out your stress?
Much love to you!