Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hard as Rock or Soft as Chenille?

Our kitchen floor is slate: cold stone, hard, completely unforgiving.

We didn't put this flooring in, it came with the house. Daily it informs my household decisions. I buy juice in plastic; I've done away with most of my Pyrex; I prefer wire centerpieces. Drop anything--even Tupperware from the freezer--and it ends in smithereens! No give at all. We are down to two Fiestaware ceramic bowls and I have no one to blame but myself.

When the iphone hit it Sunday, we knew the floor wouldn't give. Maybe that made it easier for me to offer grace. I want to be like Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, gentle, kind, good, long-suffering, forgiving. It is a volitional choice, like yielding to traffic at the merge...like taking one for the gipper...like bending at the knees.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25

For years, I had a gorgeous rug from L.L. Bean atop the slate. It was luxuriously soft, braided chenille in rich, multi-colored hues of blue and green. It was forgiving! Not only did it give a little bounce to dropped breakables but it concealed spillage too. I once dropped a full pot of tomato sauce on it from the stove. Believe me when I tell you, it blended right in, practically improving the variegated opalescence of the fibers.

A whole strawberry smoothie, bags of frozen blueberries, red wine, you name it. That rug absorbed a brutal amount of defacement.

Guests would never have suspected any of our mishaps; they vanished even from our own memories. It turned the other cheek in a sense, as we flipped it for increased life expectancy. When I finally retired that rug it was not due to staining or ragged appearance, but because I thought surely it must be in violation of some health code.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; Psalm 103:11-13

Simon & Garfunkel would rather be a hammer than a nail. I'd rather be a rug than slate. And I am awfully grateful that my Father is too.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:35-37

Being authentic as Kelly Langston has challenged, I will have to admit that I am way more forgiving, lenient, and merciful to Reid than I am to others. How often do I blame my husband or judge my neighbors as harshly as our slate floor treated that iPhone? No comment. In fact, Reid's disability gives him a "get out of jail free" card on many occasions. Could it be that God our Father treats us all as "special needs" as he gives us second and third and seventh chances?

If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." Luke 17:3-5


  1. Another great post! I wish I could send you another rug! Today I was slate....I'm hoping tomorrow I'll be more of your rug.

    I'm farming this one out, too!

  2. thanks kelly. writing this made me think i should replace that rug too! maybe as an incentive if i make it to Feb 8th!