My bucket of dirt


When I was a wee lad I had one pair of glasses.  Without them I couldn’t see much.  A few of my brothers and sisters didn’t need glasses. They were popular when we played tag in the swimming pool.  But playing rugby as a schoolboy was a “participating disconnect” for me – no family to tell me what was happening.  Football (soccer), tennis and darts were okay: Glasses on – Game on!

We had a marvelous holiday in the Maldives years back. My wife oohed and ahhed at all the tropical fish swimming under our feet.  I boohed and hooed at seeing only blurs in the near distance.  

These past three posts have shown me how much this window needs a good clean.  The marks don’t show so much in the pictures – but I can see them – they are marks left by the grandchildren (who love to stand on the desk with their soggy noses on the glass) – by repeated fly swattings – by repeated opening and closing of the window for some air – and until taking these last three pictures I never saw the marks of my loving and living.

I only started wearing glasses when I was nine or ten.  I remember standing on a railway platform and not seeing the big digital clock: “Where?”THERE!!!”“WHERE!!”THERE!!!!!!!”“I can’t see any clock.”  Soon after I was in the opticians and have been short-sighted ever since.  In recent years I have moved to “varifocals” and maintained perfect (artificial) sight at the end of my nose (although I still pop my glasses on top of my head for close-up stuff).  

And now when I can’t see “the obvious” – my family just groans.  BOOM BOOM!!  🙂

But just like the stretch-marks of our four children that my wife hates (and I love), I like these newly noticed marks on the window.  Each one a memory – each one is my living.  And when they get in the way of seeing clearly, then I will wash the window clean again (but that might not happen for some time).

Brings to mind all those teachings about “sin” and salvation.

Being washed clean.  Needing to be the purest white.  Being unclean.  Having to go through the ritual cleansing and purification time after time.  Associating with those who are clean.  Avoiding those who are not.  Seems to me we see that in the Pharisees but never ourselves.  Kind of log and splinter syndrome.  Perfect windows.  Perfect sight.  Perfect salvation.  Perfect sinners. Perfect windows.  Perfect faith.

My experience?

I can read the bible in verses, chapters or books … I can follow a plan or the spirit … I can speed read or slow read … I can ponder and I can assume … I can see clearly or not … Christians can live their whole “Christian life” in the bible and only ever see sin.

The bible is not a pair of glasses.  The bible is not even a wash cloth.  The bible is a bucket of dirt.  My bucket of dirt marked with my living and loving and my memories.

So what I choose to do with that is not of “God”  – it can only ever be what I choose.  What I choose of my God.  What I choose what my God is or is not.  And if I choose to wash myself clean time after time – to pursue perfection – to judge shades of whiteness – to obsess about sin …

Is that not seeking religious perfection?

So I have come to love pottering about.  I have come to love the wandering in and the wandering out – the marks on the window – the marks on the bible.  I have come to love NOT obsessing about sin and being washed clean time after time.  I have come to love my living faith and something “bigger” – something needless – something pointless – something I control – something I relinquish control – something without the need for control (or sin).

I love my bucket of dirt you call “the bible”.

How about you?

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