Soul Cleaning

These little stories keep falling into my lap and so excuse me while I overblog and share.


I’ve worn contacts - abusively - for years.  Out of necessity, I’ve recently been forced into taking them out at night.  Turns out the buggers want some oxygen.

As a result of my new practice I’ve gotten reacquainted with my glasses in the morning.   Because I’m not yet of Liz Lemon-wearing caliber, there is a lot of eyebrow rubbing and itching behind my ear that causes me momentary bouts of blindness as I pause to have a face-to-face with my spectacles.

This morning, with glasses in my lap, I looked round the room and challenged myself to a game of I Spy. I spied four chairs and a general feeling that the table was cleared.  (It wasn’t.)  That was good enough feedback to reach for my daily devotional and take a moment of quiet.  With the book pressed to my nose, I flipped to January 14 passing through (without self-judgment) the first 13 days I had missed.

The title of the entry was:  “14 January.  Blurry Visions of God.”  I kid you not.  Now I’m not a believer in horoscopes or God intervening to insure the Seahawks win (best fans in the NFL will make that happen), but I do think all of our paths are sprinkled with signs and wonders and every once in a while one of them comes at you like a billboard.  It’s best to sit up and pay attention when that happens.

That C.S. Lewis.  He was such a wise theologian.  “And it a man’s self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred – like the Moon seen through a dirty telescope.  That is why horrible nations have horrible religions; they have been looking at God through a dirty lens.”

My first thought was of the religious crazies we saw in Paris last week.  I sat with that one for a while until my anger expanded into a general feeling that I needed to move on.  My second thought was maybe this is why the Christian tradition has always taught confession before petition.  That we can’t find or implore God until we are willing to examine ourselves.  Or if you not religiously inclined, why we need to get our own sh** together before we have any possibility of seeing things right.   That idea applies to the extremists and everyone in between.

I know it’s sappy to tell you that right after I had a little confessional moment, I put my glasses back on.  Things were definitely less blurry … until I teared up.  Because of course, confession is a release – a sending up of a helium balloon that has no way of coming back to you -  and it doesn’t know how not to come through your tear ducts.  

God/healing/inspiration isn’t reserved for the special few, but you do have to be willing to clean out your soul closets if you want to see the fully set table in front of you.  Perhaps with enough cleaning you can even see far enough to your neighbor’s table, set differently but with crumbs under his too.  As C.S. Lewis said so beautifully this morning to me and maybe now to you, “Just as sunlight, though it has no favourites, cannot be reflected in a dirty mirror as clearly as in a clean one.”

It doesn’t matter if it’s been 13 days or 13 years since your last Windex.  What matters is though we may wish it different, the only instrument we have to clean is ourselves.