Ok, I have to believe that we are the most disgusting family on the planet. I didn’t necessarily feel that way a few weeks ago, although we DO have our struggles with keeping the house picked up and with the never-ending laundry situation. But, I have always felt that, in general, we are maybe a little messy, but certainly not gross.
But, that all changed the day I, for whatever crazy reason, bought CLEAR trash bags at the store. Did you know that clear trash bags exist? I didn’t, until I spotted them there in the aisle, smiling up at me as if to say, “Think of how much prettier your trashcan will look without that ugly white bag sticking out!” And, I fell for the clear trash bag with all its charms.
So, it really does look nicer in the trashcan. But, then I have to take the trash out.
I pull that bag out of there, and suddenly I’m confronted with a crystal clear view of every nasty thing that has entered our house in the past few days. Half eaten pieces of pizza, crusty paper towels, mostly empty baby food jars, snotty tissues, wilted vegetables, wet diapers. I mean, you name it. If it is gross and it was once in our house, it winds up in the trashcan. That’s no newsflash, right? The way we use the trashcan hasn’t changed since I bought the new bags. It’s always been full of disgusting, smelly garbage.
The difference is that I can see it now.
And, I don’t like it. In fact, I found myself wondering if I should put our clear trash bags inside some black ones before we put them on the curb. I mean, I certainly don’t want our neighbors to see all of our nastiness! Imagine some sweet old lady walking her dog down the street on trash day, when she suddenly comes upon CLEAR TRASHBAGS full of all of the grossest things about our family. Poor lady! She would probably cross the street and walk the other way to avoid it. I wouldn’t blame her! I don’t even want to look at it, even though it’s my half-eaten hamburger and my kids’ boogers in there.
The fact is, I like our garbage better when it’s in nice, opaque, black trash bags. That way I’m not confronted with our yucky-ness, and I can easily hide it from others.
And, that’s exactly the way Christians are, don’t you think? We have all kinds of nasty garbage in our lives, and I’m afraid it doesn’t really bother us as long as we can keep it hidden. We are okay with the trash that fills our lives as long as we can stuff it down into a dark place and not think about it. We avoid being transparent because we don’t like the way it looks, and we sure don’t want other people seeing what’s inside. After all, seeming clean is so, so very important in Christianity. Sometimes we even think SEEMING clean is just about as good as BEING clean.
So, what do we do about it? Time to get out the clear trash bags, my friends. Time to shed light on the garbage in our lives and put it out for good. If we all did it, wouldn’t we be surprised to learn that everyone we know has trash enough to fill their bag?
In the Edgington house, I’ll be so happy when I have used up all of these clear bags so that I can go back to my good old black Hefties. I don’t like thinking about how gross we are. But, I pray that I have the courage to give up black forever in my own struggle to root out the garbage in my heart and mind. Let me be clear. Let me be transparent. And let me put out the trash in my life that stands between me and holiness.