The Smudge

For about a month now, I’ve had a weird smudge on the outside glass of my writing room window. I can’t open the window and I can’t get to it from the outside without a very tall ladder. So, I’ve just been staring at it.

It’s streaky and I can’t figure out how it got there. I assume if it was water it would have evaporated or washed off by the rain? Maybe the kids threw something sticky at the window?

Anyway, it’s getting to be very distracting. When I sit in my chair in the mornings before the rest of the house is awake, the first beams of sunrise start to break through over my neighbors house and through the trees. Just as I am soaking in the pleasure of the light my eyes are drawn to it…the smudge.

The trees outside the window are threatening to bloom, but when I look to admire them…smudge.

I hear my kids playing outside and turn my head to witness their joy…smudge.

I need a break from my computer screen and glance up for earth’s inspiration…smudge.

I have GOT to get that cleaned off of the window!

The eyes are the window to the soul. Be careful then to keep the glass clean.

We were all designed to hold God’s glory and shine his Radiant Light out into the world, but if the glass is dirty all people will see is a smudge.

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

My bookshelves are filled with books from many authors who I admire and many who have let me down with their choices and their words. On one hand I have consumed and digested their wisdom. Like, food the substance of their life-giving words have nourished my soul and made me grow. But almost every one of those humans have eventually let me down and disappointed me.

I’m not talking about differences of opinions. No one shares the exact same values and opinions AND I would be blatantly wrong to seek out wisdom from a clone of myself. There is not learning or growth there. But when someone I admire falls from the pedestal I’ve put them on- it hurts. Should I throw out all of their words because their behavior? Probably not, but I’m human too and I’m tempted to have a book burning.  

My emotions remind me of TWO things:

  1. Jesus is the only ONE who will never let me down.
  2. I can take exactly what I need from others and graciously leave the rest behind.

And the deeper lesson for me is this: As I write to hopefully encourage others, I must remind myself to keep the glass clean. I’m sure there are lots of people who will disagree with my opinions, but I don’t want my poor choices/words or behavior to distract them from seeing the LIGHT in me. I need to work to keep the smudges off.

The idea sort of reminds me of the writer’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:2 the Bonnie paraphrase:

If I have incredible insight and knowledge and faith and impressive talents, but I don’t have love- so what?

A smudge can take you right on out of influence. It can distract others from Truth to the point that they turn away. Keep your eyes clean- filtering what goes in so that the bright light inside you can be seen- radiant and unblemished. You will be a bright hope for someone.

“Do not make it difficult for those who are turning to Christ.”

OR Don’t be a smudge.

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