Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Squeegee & Me

Every man takes the limits of his own
field of vision for the limits of the world. 
~Arthur Schopenhauer, "Studies in Pessimism,"

As I sat there staring through the window, I wondered how long it had been since last I took a squeegee to them ... the windows.  They didn't appear to be too dirty, but since I couldn't recall the last time they'd been washed, I knew my assessment was flawed.  My decision was swift.

Grateful for a new telescoping pole in lieu of a ladder for the higher windows, I grabbed my related assortment of cleaning devices.  Then I set about whipping up a batch of my secret, super-duper, never-streaking, powerful window cleaning solution.   With bucket & gear in hand, I moved into action. 

It began with the removal of screens, which I promptly set aside for a later bathing of their own.  Then I assessed the best place to begin, deciding to tackle the easiest windows first. 

For the better part of two hours I slathered & scrubbed & squeaked.  I made my way around & through a few big Rhododendrons, Hostas & Bracken Fern, a Lilac bush and some sort of monster shrub I can't identify.  Guerrilla warfare was warranted when tackling areas not easily navigated.

When at last the windows gleamed, I set about scrubbing the screens - - shocked by the tense residue that argued about its being removed.  Apparently it liked its habitat.

At last my chore was complete, and with great satisfaction I tucked my tools away for another year day.

Throughout the late afternoon & early evening I found myself walking around the house to peer through the now-clean glass.  What a difference.  What a great sense of satisfaction.  What an entirely different perspective of what lay beyond them.   

Today the windows make me grin; and I am amazed at the life-lessons associated with the simple (though tiring & sometimes difficult) chore of getting them clean.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve
what God’s will is—His good, pleasing
and perfect will.
~Romans 12:2
  • Just a little bit of dust, not to mention grime will always obscure the true beauty beneath or beyond it.
  • Regular care & cleaning is far easier than the alternative.
  • Funny what can be seen when one is able to see it.
  • If it's easier to see out or through something that's clear or clean, then it must be equally easy to see in.
  • The longer tense residue is allowed to cling, the tougher it is to remove it.
  • Cleaning initiatives need not be labors of drudgery; nor must they produce shame.  They can be adventures ... little re-discoveries.  

Some men see things as they are and ask why. 
Others dream things that never were
and ask why not. 
~George Bernard Shaw

What we see depends mainly on what we look for. 
~John Lubbock

What is true by lamplight is not
always true by sunlight. 
~Joseph Joubert


Ray Barnes said...

Some really good analogies here Kathy.
I am breathless with admiration for your energetic response to "seeing through a glass darkly".
If you really only do this once a year, you have certainly earned the rest of the year off.
PS. Borrow my broomstick and fly over here some time, my windows need you.

Sonja said...

Isn't it interesting how a simple thing like cleaning the windows can trigger so much food for thought. I'm reminded as I look at my own windows that 'now we see through a glass darkly'... it's time to get the squeegee out at my house right now!

I liked each thought you shared, so true!

Nancy said...

I love the way God shows us lessons through ordinary daily tasks.....This one is a great one and so true......

I love the new look of your blog....

Rebecca said...

Wow! I was challenged -- at BOTH levels, literal & "spiritual"! Well formulated and communicated Kathleen.

Just a little something from Judy said...

What a mind God has blessed you with. What insights come from it. What lessons I learn from you. Thank you God for Sassy Granny.

Do you share your magic window cleaner?

skoots1mom said...

do i keep my heart clean so that others get the best view?

Debbie said...

What GREAT thoughts you have shared here. I love it. Made me think what does the window of my heart look like? Is it clean and clear or does it need a touch from Him? Nothing like clean windows. Spiritual and otherwise.

Debbie said...

A good lesson for us all Kathleen! How interesting that we both posted about vision. I came from the perspective of a shattered windshield. But life happens and ...God is good.

Love you and miss you,

Maryann said...

Who would have thought cleaning windows would have been so inpirational...amazing how God can use the every day to speak into our lives...this is great!

a woman who is said...

Love your post but what I really want to know is what is your super duper window cleaning formula ;) I am about as consistent as you are with window washing!

On the other hands...short accounts and a clean heart keep you moving and seeing what is right in front of your eyes for sure!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Convicted on the physical end...the windows in this rent house are horrible, but the reason why they aren't clean is because of the spiritual end of your post....okay, I am caught again...this is why I read blogs, God can grab my attention.

Now for some window cleaning...both kinds!

Cheryl Barker said...

Wow, so many great life lessons from a cleaning chore! I might need to get busy cleaning! :)

RCUBEs said...

What great lessons you shared just because you washed the windows!!! If I remember it correctly, I think it was Charles Spurgeon who wrote that we must also be concerned not only with biggest sins ("dirt") but especially with the "littlest" that managed to creep up to the inner fissures in our hearts...little but deadly and make us far from our Savior's love. So true how even a tiny speck can spoil our view and if we don't do anything, the more the dirt accumulates.

May we always take our time in searching for those little sins in the windows of our hearts that obscure the view on what God truly wants for us and easily get rid of them so His light will forever shine deep inside. God bless you sister.

Nel said...

Another wonderful post that speaks to the heart! It is amazing how little things can become great devotions. Thanks for sharing what was on your heart!
until next time... nel

Betty said...

Great post Kathy especially since I did my windows today. Wait...let me correct that...WE...MY HUSBAND AND I did our windows today after moving into the condo the first of March. And I did what you did...everytime I looked through the windows I stopped for just a second and enjoyed the view.

Only wish I had read your post first for I think I would have enjoyed the task even more.

This past Sunday during communion I ask the Lord to once again show me the dirt that was distorted my view of Him. Goodness how quickly He revealed it too. Forgiveness is His super duper window cleaner and it's free.

Thanks for stopping by my site. Blessings.

Jackie said...

Love this Kathleen! Love the guerrilla warfare part....but I know it was worth it! Great's wonderful how our daily walk turns into such great teaching tools!

Have a great weekend!


Karen Lange said...

Oh yes, what wonderful points! I love the analogies you share; they really make me think, and somehow, they are always timely. Imagine that! Divinely appointed, I'd say. :)

Thanks and blessings to you,

P.S. I may need to clean my windows this weekend...

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

What? No recipe for the super duper cleaner? Sigh.

I've found it also helps to put on my glasses. :)

Saleslady371 said...

And then you have people like me who see the job as big and burdensome, but oh so gratifying upon completion. You just have to do it and that means staying current in the morning quiet time, too. Oh, so gratifying!

Denise Oldham said...

Enjoy your thoughts.