Thursday, February 12, 2015

Clean Start

It is SOOOO cold this week, frigid and snowy, fresh drifts everywhere, typical winter weather around here this February.  I am so blessed to have a warm house, a cozy bedroom, hot tea whenever I need a mug to heat my hands in the evenings, and a wonderful husband to come home to each night.  It is still dark when I leave for work in the morning, and often dark again when I return at night, but I can tell that the hours of sunlight are beginning to expand little by little.  Soon, Spring will begin its slow advance here on the North Coast.  Winter will fall back, and gradually give birth to tiny signs of warmth like the crocus that will wriggle upward through the cold. 

One of my good friends, a favorite painting, left me this week and went to its new owner.  The name of the painting is Fresh Start.  It is a colorful rendition of a group of buildings in Beijing.  A clothesline stretched among sports wet clothing drying in the air.  This scene was so typical of the Asian city dweller's I observed in China, but I have also seen this kind colorful display in France, in Russia, in Italy and among the Amish in Ohio.  I remember hanging clothes on a summer clothesline myself when my children were small.  It gave me a thrill to see my family's clean things getting their share of sunshine and fresh air.  They smelled like happiness and there was a certain feeling of satisfaction that I derived from the exercise of hanging, waiting, taking down and folding those clean clothes.

I want to remember how my own behavior stains, soiled choices, and muddy decisions are repeatedly cleansed by our Lord, hung out in the fresh sunshine of the Father's love and mercy, and flap in the healing breeze of the Holy Spirit who guides me.  Each time I go to him, after repentance and forgiveness, I believe God can see the bright, new colors of joy and relief in my life, and I know that He will continually be with me to hang my cleaned laundry on His line, which is made of these words:  I love you.  That's how I see Him:  Through the Cottage Door.

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