Monday, December 8, 2008

Scrubbing the Kitchen Floor

This evening, at the end of a long and trying day, I found myself down on my knees…

(I can imagine what you might be thinking right now: “Ah, well, she IS a seminarian, shoeless though she be, down on her knees in prayer? I’m sure. Atta girl!”—Laughing yet?)

Down on my knees, yes. In prayer? Well, maybe not exactly…

For there was no Bible in my hands, there were no poetic praises flowing from my mouth, and my eyes were anything but uplifted. Rather, in my hands was a soapy rag, from my mouth flowed mumblings and grumblings, and my eyes were honed in on that oh-so-difficult ground-in dirt.

This evening, at the end of a long and trying day, I found myself down on my knees scrubbing the kitchen floor.

But you know, sometimes there is nothing better than the act of scrubbing a floor clean. For no matter how dirty the floor may seem or how futile the job may appear, to see the dirt stripped away and the light beginning to reflect off the surface as it is meant to... To see the floor once more washed, cleansed, refreshed and renewed…

Perhaps you think I exaggerate, but I tell you, it is an amazing thing to behold!

But in the end, the gleaming floor was not the most amazing result of scrubbing the kitchen floor on my knees this evening.

Not at all.

Because the floor was not the only thing that came away washed, cleansed, refreshed and renewed. The floor was not the only thing that once more began to reflect more clearly as the layers of grime were wiped away. For as the steady scrubbing of my hands wiped away the pesky ground-in dirt, my very being was scrubbed raw—scrubbed fresh.

And those mumblings and grumblings that once flowed forth?

In the beginning there were few words of praise and thanksgiving to God for my day, there was no trust in the gracious protection of God, and there was no plea for forgiveness—I guarantee you.

In the midst there was silence.

And at the end? At the end I found myself able to talk with God in a way I haven’t been able to do for weeks. At the end I found that posture of scrubbing truly to be a posture of prayer.

And so as I crawl into bed this evening with hands wrinkled and red as a newborn, I am reminded not only of the power of water to drown the dirt of my kitchen floor. I am reminded also of the power of water—coupled with God’s Word—to drown my sin and birth me anew.

This evening, at the end of a long and trying day, I found myself down on my knees praising and thanking...

confessing and commending...




(The reality that my mum will arrive on Friday to a spotlessly clean kitchen floor? Well, that's merely an added bonus!)

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