A few weeks ago I washed the inside and outside of most of the windows in our house. This is worth mentioning because I often feel like I don’t have enough time to do a thorough job of cleaning up. Sure, I’ll sweep floors and wipe countertops and do a little light dusting, but how frequently do I take the time and spend the energy to move furniture to wet mop the floors or wipe down the countertops and the cabinet doors and the tile backsplash or dust the ceiling fan blades and the baseboards?
Well, it was a pretty Saturday and we had no where we had to be until that night, so I started taking down window screens to hose them off. I even stood on a ladder to clean the transoms at the tippy top. I felt like Martha Stewart was whispering in my ear, guiding me through all the steps, and she was pleased with my labor. (Her magazines are chock full of cleaning tips, though I have to wonder how often she’s the one who’s actually Windex-ing the windows of her vacation home in the Hamptons.)
Once it was done, and the sun-dried screens were replaced, I sat in our sunroom and marveled at how clearly I could see the world outside. The dirt and dust had accumulated so gradually on all those windows, so that I had no idea just how hazy and obscured my view had become. It’s like the day I got glasses in the 9th grade. As we were driving home, I kept looking out the car window and seeing details I never would’ve been able to see before my vision was corrected. I kept remarking to my mom, “I can see each brick on that building!” or “There are separate, tiny leaves on that tree!” It was a revelation.
It’s incredible how easy it is to get used to living in a way that’s unnecessarily bad for us. Over time, we can stop questioning what we intuitively know to be unhealthy and just accept it like it’s our only option. Then there are some instances where, due to our past experiences, we don’t know that there is anything better.
It reminds me of the story of Saul (later known as Paul) meeting the crucified, risen, and ascended Jesus on his way to persecute Christians. Saul was blinded and dropped to his knees in sheer panic. He asks, “Who are you, Lord?” and Jesus introduces himself. It’s an amazing story, and one which Paul (“Saul” no longer) recounts to King Agrippa years later as we see in Acts 26.
Paul tells the king that Jesus was sending him to go and bear witness. Christ told him, “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” I love this scripture for lots of reasons, but also because these are the words we used in a prayer group I was a part of a few years ago. We’d randomly choose staff and students from our school to pray over, and that was what we’d pray. Without knowing any specifics about these precious souls, we’d ask that God would open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light. We prayed that they would no longer peer through smudged, hazy glass and think that was the best life could offer. We hoped they’d experience their own eye-opening revelation.