Dust - JJ Landis
1364
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Dust

Spring sunlight beams through oversized windows and splashes into my open front door. Warm. Warmth is good. Ruminating on my surroundings, I note the photographs of my kids adorning nearly every surface.

 

I sit comfortably on a loveseat, faded blue, alone in the room with all our musical instruments. My husband’s guitar leans against the nicked wall next to my daughter’s violin. Scattered around the room are also a mandolin, a djembe drum, and a few harmonicas.

 

Our carpet, stained muddy, is littered with homework and several newspaper comics forgotten. Hand-me-down furniture and curtains, smudged windows. Worn and well-used, my things.

 

I gaze from within the cocoon of my life, a world I never imagined would be mine. I peer at artwork created by the hands of my children, birthed from my womb, entrusted to my care by God. My home, white with black shutters, very noble and clean, shelters me and my family.

 

As I intently observe, dust floats in the air and piles of cat hair and other manifestations of fuzz collects on the hardwood floor in the hallway. I can see the smeared fingerprints decorating the glass storm door, a child’s attempt at writing a message in the morning dew, though every day I tell her to stop. My coffee cup sits amidst a buildup of household ick on the bookshelf next to me. Afternoon light reveals this dirt, invisible otherwise. I consider shutting the door and pulling the shades to avoid the grime. But I would know it remained.

 

Picking up my coffee, I meditate on God’s light. He illuminates my current state of warmth and contentment and clarifies my sins and regrets, now solidly cast away far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Basking in Him reveals my mess that has been redeemed into his pure goodness.

 

I do not close the door, do not shut out the light. I drink my brew, hot and black, and soak in the gift I have been given with the sunlight. My marred soul healing. Just because I don’t enjoy seeing my brokenness doesn’t mean I can wish it away. Choosing to live blindly in the dark doesn’t make anything clean. The filth remains.

 

I thump a pillow and watch the dust fly. Floating and settling, the specks drift from one place to another. The mistakes, the aching, the discomforts, the shame are on display for all to see;present among the blessings. Years of sin, mistakes, pain both received and inflicted. All of it, all of it is me.

 

The perfect little life I inhabit now is hygienic and would be easy to hide behind. Many people are satisfied to sit on what they have. They move forward, not looking back. Forgetting. Trying to. But I press on, hauling with me the load of my past.

 

If we choose to follow God and soak up His light, there really is no need to attempt to hide the dust balls and specks of rubbish. God’s beauty is that He doesn’t just bring to focus our ugliness; He cleans us. He wants us to throw off the old, but He doesn’t leave us there, naked. He beautifies us, clothing us in His love and splendor.

 

Revelation 3:17-18 is for the church of Laodicea but also for us to glean wisdom: “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”

 

I want refined gold and white clothes. And sight.

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