Something Different...

The air was clean and light this morning. I stood on my porch and took several deep breaths, relishing the brief moment of calm and silence. There was much work to be done and the gentle weather made the reality a bit more tolerable. When the day is heavy with humidity one can hardly move through the thickness, much less work.

We began the sizable project by bringing everything outside. It was quite a collection of unwanted and useless items, mostly of my husbands doing. Now I'm not one to just blame the man, no indeed. But me personally, I'm all for tossing it out or give it away if it's broke or not being used. He on the other hand isn't one to say no to anyone giving him their hand-me-downs.

At one time or another over the years together I've asked him not to keep most of the treasures he stored up. On several occasions I found myself asking just why he felt he needed this particular gadget and questioning what he could possibly manage with that unidentifiable object. He would always hold tight and say you just never know and then put it in the pile.

After some time I stopped asking and just accepted this as one of my husband's quirks. He would let go when he was good and ready or when he was tired of climbing over it to find what he needed. Or maybe he wouldn't and I would just have to live with it. I guess by the time this day had come he had finally reached a point of letting go.

So once we had all our unsightly junk on display for the neighborhood we began the task of preparing for what we were going to keep. Sweeping out the cobwebs and the dust that had collected just as easy as the clutter. Hanging shelves and hooks for the better storage of and access to our necessities.

Next we began to sort the piles into needs, wants and just plain old junk - I'm sure there's no need to tell you which pile was the biggest.

Each using our gifts where appropriate. Eddie making us laugh and helping his dad move the heavy items. Elena keeping our conversation fluid while making our work seem as easy as play. Jesse knowing where and how he wanted each item, handling the heavy work with ease. I was there motivating, encouraging and giving my ideas as we went. Individually moving as a team, united in our effort to be done with the whole mess.

Of course there were road bumps in the day. Take for instance around noon, after 5 hours of hard work we were all moving noticeably slower and just a tad bit cranky. So I made some lunch and grabbed our iced water and we took a rest and fueled our drained bodies. At this point Eddie and Elena had lost interest and had wandered into the house to find anything else to do. I went to round them up and rally the troops toward victory and of course I worked in a few ominous threats of torture and punishment as well. (Although I'm pretty sure they felt as if they were already being tortured).

Then we loaded the trash pile into the borrowed truck. We began by loading the big items and it took most of us to move and lift them in. Then one by one we chunked the rest on top, relief mounting with the growing pile. This was good.

Then we turned around and looked at the evidence of our long and hard labor. It was clean, we could move around in the whole of it without danger. There was easy access to each area. This is how a garage should look, worked in yes, unpolished of course, but also functional and accessible. No longer did it resemble a salvage yard with nothing to salvage. This was very, very good.

Will he ever bring home another hunk of metal? Absolutely. And I'm more than certain he won't say no to the next offer of "hey Jesse, could you use...?". Maybe it's because he sees the underlying value in each item. Perhaps to him each offer represents the essence of possibility.

When I set out to type this post it was merely to share the day of hard work. But several paragraphs into it I began so see another story, the symbolism of a separate but mirrored truth. But I won't share that with you. Everyone comes away with varied significances from a story. The fundamental notes and overtones resonating incomparably dissimilar to each ear that would listen.

Maybe it was just me. Maybe not. I'm not asking for a critique or fishing for compliments - unless you would like to offer either of those. What I am asking you to do is tell me if you caught a glimpse of another meaning, the shadow just beneath the surface. Let me know, write it out in the comments. Make it as short or as long as you like. And don't forget to check the box for follow-up comments. I talk back!


  1. This was probably not what you found in it at all...but I did! I was reading it and thought about it in the same way I think of my christian life. We get so bogged down with the world, and stress, and things going on in our lives and the lives around us, that we lose sight of what could really be happening. And then when we stop and do some "spring cleaning" in our lives, we have a sense of newness and refreshment. Our sights are once again set on the prize...God. We can see the big picture and it brings such a sense of fullness to our lives to empty out the "garbage" that bogs us down.

  2. Karie,
    That is so true. We Christians love our "stuff" don't we?

    Perfect, thank you!

  3. Oh, do you have one of those guys, too? When his Mom moved a couple of years ago, the 25+ yr of crappola in her attic ended up in our 1-car garage "Just in case"

  4. Okay, I didn't read the other comments, so maybe I'm repeating, but I thought about unforgiveness and the way we heap up faults and nurse grudges against others until we're glutted and can't climb out from behind it.

    Also there's the "cares of this world" that choke out the fruit He wants us to have in our lives. We heap those up too, and hold onto them just as hard!

    Thank God He does the hard work in that situation, though! One episode on our knees in humility and He cleans it all up Himself.

    He's so good. Better than the Clean Sweep folks, by far.

    Many back-pats to all of you for persevering and reclaiming your garage space!

  5. Jenni!
    Glad you 'played along'!~
    I got the same thing. Also the fact that we hold onto those things and that God will ask us for them, ask us why we hold onto them but never just takes it away. We turn them over when we see how we get nothing but 'cramped' out of it.
    I also saw how the body of Christ works together in helping one another, ministering to one another, operating in their gifts.

    Yes, praise GOD He does the cleaning...only the precious blood of the Lamb!


and remember, words are my love language...