Wednesday, 28 January 2015

All Clean Again

Don’t tell my husband, but I just took our car up the street and paid twelve whole dollars for the carwash staff to scrub off the filth. It’s an extravagance we rarely allow in our family’s money management, but our white Honda Fit was covered in dried mud and it’s a beautiful sunny day so I splurged. 

I was a novice at the local carwash so I shamelessly asked the driver waiting in front of me how it worked. She sweetly explained without sneering.

I smiled at every worker I encountered, all men, and without fail they glared stone-faced back at me, poor things.  I wouldn’t feel smiley myself if I were in their boots.

When I reached the cash counter a young woman took my receipt and we chatted. 
Since there was no one waiting behind me I thought it was a good chance to get rid of the heavy coins in my wallet. I took out a $5 bill and emptied my change onto the counter. After finding only five dollars in “loonies” I apologised and started to put my change away, digging for another bill. 
She stopped me.
”No, No, wait, maybe it’s here.” The two of us went through the change together, counting out quarters and dimes.
She was right. We found $7 in coins. Satisfaction, hers. Gratitude, mine. Happiness, shared.

 I moved outside and watched five men towel off my shiny car, with nary an answering smile to my own appreciative grin. Oh God, help them, these cherished sons of yours.

Driving the clean car along in the sunshine felt almost as good as having freshly washed hair. How exciting to be able to see clearly when you’re driving. 

It seems there are metaphors everywhere for spiritual profundities. 
Do I notice them due to my saintly eyes of Christian faith (not), or because a retired person has the time to pay attention, or is it just the effect of my long ago studies in English Lit.? Whatever, I'm grateful.

In Jesus, God offers us the free car wash of redemption (weird religious word). 
Although the process feels painfully slow, God patiently welcomes the worst messes, carefully cleans up what can be used, and sluices away the detritus to bring new clarity and joy.
We get to choose. 
We can grimly endure whatever splashes us, or take it to God, smiling at each other with hope that, one day, the change will all add up.