Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spiritual Spackle

I've been painting a lot, with more to do on the horizon. Most recently I've been painting the kitchen. I still have some trim work to do and the more I look at it, the more work I see there is to be done. It is an odd color - Yosemite Sand. It looks utterly different hour to hour, depending upon the light. It will be great as a backdrop for things, and it goes well with our current cabinets and counter tops - which, God willing, will change some day. We're way overdue for a kitchen rehab, but replacing the garage door is first on the list, so for now, a new coat of paint is what our kitchen gets.

In preparing the walls for the paint, I pulled out the Spackle. The house is 20 something years old. It's been through four families and I don't know how many dogs - three of ours anyway. There are scratches, dents, nail pops and settling cracks to be dealt with, which require Spackle, the wonder goop. As I was prepping, I told my husband how much I loved Spackle. I got one of those 'I'm glad you're happy, honey' looks from him before he returned to staining the deck.

I am happy, because I really do love Spackle. I love how you can add water to an old tub of it and it comes back for you to use again. I love the fine powder that comes off of it when you sand it down, but most of all I love how it covers up stuff, as if the dent or crack was never there. And in verbalizing my reasons for loving Spackle (to tell my skeptical husband), I ended up realizing that Jesus is like Spackle. Not to be flip about it, but He is. He comes along and covers you up. Then He spends the rest of your life sanding you down to the point of smoothness, so that you are no longer dented, scratched or cracked. So that you are ready for the new coat of paint, as it were.

He's doing that with me. When I was saved, 18 years ago now, it was like I got covered with a lump of Spackle. As I've gone along, I've gotten smoother. I'm more compassionate, more able to shut up and listen, and less self-absorbed. Lest anyone think for a minute that I'm tooting my own horn, let me say very clearly that I was massively self-absorbed to begin with and am still pretty self-absorbed, as probably anyone who blogs is. But I'm better able to say that what someone else needs or wants is more important that what I need or want and, occasionally, act on it.

There have been all sorts of benefits from this spiritual Spackling. I have better friendships and relationships in general. At the end of the day, I am less filled with regrets over what I've done or said that was wrong, partially because if I shut up, I say fewer things that are wrong, and partially because I'm better able to apologize to whomever I've offended that day. And I can go to God and ask for relief from worries and distresses that would otherwise paralyze me.

The sanding continues, as it has to, and as I actually want it to. I have a long way to go as I still have a hard time sometimes putting aside what I want to do for what is right to do. And just like in my kitchen, there's a lot of trim work to be done. But the job is started and underway, and that, like Spackle, is a very good thing.

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