In the name of, ‘Let’s pretend I have a very clean house’, I climbed onto a dining chair and began lifting of clumps of dust and cobwebs from the light shade.
My parents were due to visit in a few days and it would be a big moment because my mother had been house-bound for 6 years. Yet there she was, having never placed a foot out of her front door for what seemed like a lifetime, packing her suitcase in preparation for a 156 mile journey.
My older sister who would be travelling with them, was as excited as I, so we both begun running around putting things in order for this mammoth venture.
Now, my mother might have had Parkinson’s Disease, causing stiff joints and limited movement, but she would always find a way to turn her neck far enough and lift her head high enough to see that she can write her name clearly in my dust.
I don’t know about you, but I rarely look heavenward when I’m seated in my home. So particles of grey fluff surreptitiously make their way up to the top of the light and encase themselves around everything that’s hanging from the ceiling. The five-centimeter cobweb trails that dangle from each piece of apparatus give the game away that we have Tarzan-like spiders that swing across from pole to pole in the night.
As I began rubbing the surface with a baby wipe, the colour of the chrome went from a dull silver to a sparkling gold.
I rubbed a little more and discovered to my delight that this light fitting had begun it’s life as a pretty gold feature. The previous owners must have spray painted the whole thing before assembly.
Of course, I am not going to reveal how long we have been living in this house because you will then work out how long it has taken me to realise I need to clean my lights.
I looked across at the matching living room one. There was no way I was going to attempt running a baby wipe over that one aswell – my neck was already aching and I had so much silver paint on me that I was beginning to resemble the Tin Man.
But I marveled at how different they both now looked. The living room one looks like this:
(To save me from shame, I have removed all cobwebs before taking the photograph)
On closer inspection my new gold lights look like they are made of a better quality metal and I began thinking how lovely it would be if people who assumed I was not such a nice person, got to know me and were pleasantly surprised that like the light, underneath my dull exterior, I was really very lovely.
But it also made me shudder at the opposite scenario. Oh Lord, please help me not to be superficial. I don’t want to be seen as a good, godly woman but when rubbed up the wrong way, reveal a tarnished spirit and an ugly interior.
I want to be like that light don’t you? A pleasant surprise. May God help us to rid ourselves of all hypocrisy and shallowness. May we be willing to reveal who we really are so we can be placed in the ‘to be polished’ line. Then Jesus can rub and scrub until we come up sparkling like gold.