I’ve had conversations with three separate people this week regarding the way our perception of events either clouds our Kingdom vision, or clarifies it. I can’t think of a better word picture for this than washing windows.
My husband and I live in the country, where farmers plow and plant and harvest. We also live on the highest point of the county, where the wind blows—a lot! Windows get dirty in a hurry as wide open spaces ensure that soil and seed blow, unhampered.
It’s been two years since my windows have had a good washing, inside and out (embarrassing to admit!). Today, I finally decided to splurge and hire someone to do it for me. Danny’s been working for five hours, dragging a ladder around the house, washing screens, wiping out window sills clogged with two years worth of dirt, and using a squeegee to clean every single window pane.
My house is light-filled! The windows sparkle as sunlight streams through!
I feel like dancing!
I wonder. What happens when I clean the eyes of my heart—my spiritual eyes—windows that alter the amount of light shed on my perception of daily events?
Here are just a few of the windows of my soul that need washing:
Dirty window: We have to find a new day program for our son, Joel, who has autism. Again. He’s hard to place. Change is so hard for him. Ugh.
Clean window: What a great opportunity to find something that fits Joel’s needs to be on the move and out in the community instead of sitting in a room with too many participants.
Dirty window: Joel had a meltdown at Kroger last Sunday. In the blink of an eye he let go of the cart, darted toward an employee stacking bananas in the produce department, and pulled her hair. Oh Lord, when will it end? What kind of fall-out will we have to deal with at our neighborhood grocery store?
Clean window: This is the first incident like this in public in almost two years. Joel is making progress with handling his anxiety in an appropriate manner. And, not only was the woman an employee of Kroger; she has a son with autism, and actually gets it. Wow!
Dirty window: Our wildflower meadow, which was supposed to be twice as glorious the second year around, is overrun with weeds. That wasn’t supposed to happen! These weeds make the whole meadow look ugly.
Clean window: The meadow is a patchwork of yellow, gold, purple and pink. Blanket flowers, sunflowers, bachelor buttons and cosmos wave their colorful heads in every direction. Yes, there are weeds, but there are enough flowers to fill vases for every room of my home and plenty left to give as gifts, with a whole field left for the enjoyment of those who come to visit Cloudland.
Having the windows cleaned was worth every penny. Suddenly, our home is light and bright and sparkly.
Cleaning the windows of my spiritual eyes doesn’t cost a penny, but it does take discipline and practice. But it's worth the spiritual work, because my perception of life is transformed as the Light streams in, unhampered.
Lord, enlighten the eyes of my heart. Alter my perception of everyday events so that I might see them with Kingdom eyes.
Reflection question: What spiritual windows of yours need a good washing?
Kathy is the author of four books, including The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities (Judson Press, 2014) and Autism & Alleluias. Kathy is also a spiritual director, nature lover, novel reader, YA novel writer, and meditation teacher. She and her husband are in the midst of building a contemplative retreat center, Cloudland, outside of Oxford, Ohio.