The Unexpected Things I Saw Through Clean Windows
I gasped at the beauty of my backyard. The full canopy of leaves, the lush grass, the look of the summer light... it was all inviting me to run outside in my bare feet and sit under the tree. The joys of summer were right out there waiting for me.
The funny thing is, nothing had changed about my yard. I was simply seeing it differently. After a busy spring and stormy early summer, my husband and I had finally cleaned the windows. He perched on the ladder outside, while I stood on a chair inside. Together we sprayed and wiped until all the streaks and smudges were gone. The difference was remarkable.
I hadn't noticed the gradual way the griminess of the window had impacted my outlook on my yard. Things had seemed a bit dreary when I was in the house. Somehow June hadn't brought the increased energy and zest for life I usually experience. I put it down to tiredness and less than ideal weather.
Once the window was clean, things changed. Now the glass was so clear, it seemed it wasn't there at all. There appeared to be no barrier between me and the outdoors. I felt like I could stretch my arm out of the family room and touch the freshness I was seeing. Everything looked new and amazingly appealing. My response to what was outside my house was based on the condition of what was inside my house - the windows.
Isn't it the same way with our emotional response to our lives? We miss the beauty that is right in front of us, because the lens we are looking through is not clear. My summer blahs were related to discouragement. It seemed there was always a need or a hurt that weighed on my heart, either for myself or for someone I cared about.
As I marveled over my new view, I felt God gently pointing out the connection. Just as I had been oblivious to the dirt building up on my windows, I had been blind to the way I let discontent build up in my heart. I neglected the habit of thankfulness and over time, my vision became blurred.
This summer, our home and our schedule were more full than usual. It added up to more driving, more meal planning and grocery shopping, more cooking and cleaning than I had anticipated. When I focused on the work, I became weary and crabby.
But when I stopped to thank my Father for the experiences summer was bringing my way, I could see the blessing in all the faces gathered around the table and treasure the sound of laughter in the yard. Thankfulness wiped the glass clean and gave me a truer picture of all there was to savor.
Are there things that smear the glass through which you are viewing your life? Worry can cloud our vision. Hurt feelings that are allowed to take root and grow into bitterness do it too. So can busyness, or life changes that all pile up on one another. There are many causes, but the solution is the same.
Time with the Savior renews our hearts. The things that dim our eyes begin to fall away as we fix our eyes on him, the "author and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). When our eyes are on him, we begin to see things the way he does. Then, and only then, things truly come into focus.
Today he's inviting you, and he's inviting me, to clean our windows. No ladders, buckets, or squeegees required. Stillness in his presence, with a listening ear and willing heart will do the work!