Last fall's epic rain fall was too much for our vent over the kitchen, the pan underneath it overflowed and left a brown spot on the ceiling. No honest leak, so a little touch-paint was all that was needed. Except then instead of a brown spot we had a blinding white spot. Just a couple touches of the paint brush pointed out how dirty the ceiling had become. So, Saturday the kitchen ceiling got a fresh coat or two.
These words from Walter Wangerin Jr. jumped out at me this weekend in my reading, even as the smell of fresh paint hung in the air: "To sinners, the mere presence of goodness can feel like an attack. It triggers guilt. Guilt hurts, Guilt forces us to notice ourselves, thereby to question and to second-guess ourselves; and such an internal process destroys the joy of an unconscious life. We are altogether too conscious, suddenly--too self-aware. Doubt destroys the thoughtless satisfactions.. . . . Goodness is a spotlight."
The bolding is my addition. I loved his wording, "Destroys the joy of an unconscious life." We're so big these days in not wanting people to feel bad. Saw it a lot working with youth - parents refusing to put words on their children's actions. As a parent, it's my job to shake my child from their "unconscious life". I want my husband, my friends, my children, my church to do the same for me. Not burden me with condemnation - but not shy away from telling me the truth.
Put words on my actions.
Even if it's just by living your best life, so that it shows me where mine is dirty. Like clean paint on an unconscious ceiling.
And, God, give me the strength and consciousness to seek out those who are good, kind, and honest and not work to only hang out with folks whose ceilings are dirtier than mine, so I look good in comparison.