Monday, March 31, 2008
Making a Clean Sweep of Things
The street sweeper made a trip up my street today. I watched this somewhat odd heralder of the new season as it ambled past my house and kept on going, busy about its task. For a moment I thought, 'what good does it do?' I mean really, does it sweep up the dead squirrels who've been out there awhile, or the plastic bottles and stray newspapers, or whatever else the last rain piled up next to the curb? Not once did the operator stop, get out and push something out of the way, never did he go around. He just plowed right through, dealing with whatever was there.

I watched as the big swooshy bristle brushes ran over the streets, slowly cleaning up whatever came into its path, leaving behind only a wet trail. No rubbish. Whatever was there minutes before was magically gone, swept away. Left behind was air filled with that musty wet smell of dirt and muck mixed with water, a somewhat earthy version of spring-cleaning.

As it shuffled past my house, I considered - if those bristle brushes swept over me, my heart, what would they find needed cleaning up? What muck has gathered in my heart over the past couple of seasons? What could I, should I, get rid of to really embrace this time of year, full of promise, growth and new beginnings?

Oh, how about that bitterness I've noticed deep in my spirit? Old hurts I'm still holding onto just a bit, being too sensitive to casual comments of others. Or maybe questioning someone's motives, assuming the worst but you can bet I give myself a wide berth of assuming the best? Maybe it's locking people into the chains of old habits and conversations, not even considering they may have changed. You know, assuming guilt and never even giving them a chance. I've changed in the past year, why wouldn't I consider they may have too? Maybe I want to sweep away choosing easy over hard, when hard is worth it. How would it feel to not count the cost when I give, to quit keeping track of who else is giving how much? Wouldn't that feel refreshing? Doesn't the 'counting' remove all the joy when I give? These items, laying next to the curb on the street of my heart, they come to mind very quickly. If the street sweeper slowed down even more, I'm confident there would be an even longer, nastier list of things that needed swept away, such stuff that would make that lingering dead squirrel look good in comparison.

Street Sweeper - come down the streets of my heart, and wash me clean. Wash away the nastiness that has laid here inside me thru the fall and winter. I'm ready for the freshness of Spring - inside and out - that only You can give me.


  posted at 10:10 PM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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