Friday, March 18, 2005

Pool Cleaning

Copyright © Lisa Biggs Crum

I am an outside-of-the-box thinker except when it comes to my children’s sand box. Summer time brings plenty of sand in our house. I often don’t notice it until I’m walking bare foot across the kitchen floor. As I sweep it up, I try not to think about how much is in the carpet.

There is another place that sand gathers - the beach. My ultimate vacation is anywhere there is a large body of water. The down side of the beach is getting in the hotel pool and feeling sand around my feet. I'm fairly certain that cleaning the pool is an everyday task for beach hotels. Even with all the chemicals put in the pool for health safety, there is still sand and other debris that sinks to the bottom that must be removed with a pool vacuum.

There is stuff floating on top sometimes. Those articles are easy to see and most anyone will move them away or lift them out of the pool. But that stuff on the bottom, I’ve never seen anyone diving down to pick up grains of sand with their hands.

Our lives can get gritty sometimes. It easy to see the stuff that floats to the top. We can push it away or someone else will gently (or not so gently) bring it to our attention and help us remove it. The grit down deep is not as easy to remove. For one thing, it probably didn’t get there in one big lump. It came on the soles (or souls) of other people or circumstances that may have accumulated over a long period of time. We most likely won’t even notice it until our souls are bare. Just as shoes protect us from noticing the sand on the kitchen floor, we wear shoes on our soul to protect us from feeling the grit in the depths of who we are.

As we dive deep into spiritual formation and discover the grit that needs to be removed, it’s tempting to try to pick it up with our own hands. We might also try putting in more spiritual chemicals – Bible study, prayer etc. Those disciplines are essential to our spiritual health. However, to really get the grit cleaned out, we must bring in a vacuum with a line that extends beyond ourselves. The vacuum itself is useless if there is no power source at the other end.

Baring our soles on the kitchen floor doesn’t clean up the mess – it may just spread more of it throughout house. Wearing water shoes in the pool doesn’t make the water cleaner. We need other people to walk on the perimeters, inserting the vacuum line powered by the love and truth of God. Only He can take that stuff and dispose of it properly. But don’t pack up the vacuum. Just like that pool at the beach, it won’t be a one time experience. There are a lot of grains of sand on the beach.

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the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
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