I sit at my desk and gaze out the window at burnished gold and flaming orange leaves heralding autumn. It occurs to me how much I love clean windows! Earlier this morning I looked out through the accumulation of dirt and smudges on the glass and those same leaves looked dull, joyless. So I gathered up my cleaning supplies and got busy. Now, observed through my clean window, the world looks freshly washed.
I do love clean windows…but I hate washing them! I procrastinate and complain about this despised chore, no matter how delighted I am with the end result. I can’t afford to pay someone to wash my windows for me, so I’m stuck with doing it myself. Our windows are old, the kind that tilt in, and it requires strong hands to compress the frame in order to release the sash. Sometimes a window frame has become stiff with age and I struggle to get the sash free. When it suddenly pops out, there’s this little “pop” of relief within me…now I can get on with the washing. Depending on the season, the sash may be stuck, not willing to budge no matter how much I push, pull, huff and puff. Those are the days when I’m so grateful for the help of my husband’s strong hands and arms. It’s good to have help when the work is hard!
Like looking through clean windows, I love seeing the heart of God clearly. Somehow the world seems freshly washed–and me along with it–when I observe the world around me with his heart. But, just like washing windows, seeing God’s heart clearly requires time and energy…and there are days when I just don’t want to invest in Bible study and prayer, no matter how delighted I will be with the end result. In a different sense, I can’t afford to pay someone to do that work for me (paying the preacher to preach the sermon doesn’t count!) This is work I must do myself.
Inevitably, there are days when the framework of my mind has become stiff with age, resistant to the pressure of change. There are seasons when I feel the window of my soul has swollen shut with the cares of life and world, and it just won’t budge. In those times, it takes a strong hand to break those places free…tilting the sash of my soul inward so that God can penetrate my heart and mind. In those times I am grateful for the Spirit’s gift of a listening friend who encourages me until I feel the “pop”, or the one more learned than me who has generously written down the wisdom gleaned from their own study and prayer. Again, it’s good to have help when the work is hard!
When my view of life and world is dull and joyless, I know that I’m not seeing God’s heart clearly. I’ve allowed the dirt and smudges of procrastination and complaining to accumulate on the window of my soul. I realize that it’s time to gather up my cleaning supplies–prayer, Scripture, a good friend, the wisdom of a commentary–and get busy. The end result is like looking at the brilliant fall leaves through freshly washed windows…delightful!
How’s the view through your windows?