Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Pet Cobweb

I keep a cobweb in the corner of my shower.  It's been there for months, and I have no immediate plans to get rid of it.  It's my pet cobweb.

I like looking at it.

It reminds me that no matter how clean the rest of my house looks, there is always something that needs cleaned.  There will always be a small pile of dust in a corner somewhere, the carpet will always need to be vacuumed around the edges in one room or another, and the baseboards and walls will always need to have the scuff marks wiped off.  Again.  

The cobweb in my shower gives me permission to NOT have a perfectly clean house.  You can expect to have clean towels and mostly-clean floors if you come to visit, but I would fail a white glove test.  My cobweb helps me to be okay with that.

The cobweb I keep in my shower also reminds me that there are cobwebs of another kind hidden in the shadowy corners of my soul.  No matter how clean my life looks from the human perspective, God and I both know about those spiritual cobwebs.  Sometimes those cobwebs are small, fairly simple to dust away, and their removal doesn't bother me much.  Other times I find that they are much larger and stickier than I thought they were, and they grow faster than regular cobwebs, too.

Sometimes simply naming those spiritual cobwebs helps to clear them out:  fear, gossip, laziness, selfishness, pride.  Once I am aware that they are back, they are easier to dust away while they are small, but I don't always see them return.  That's why I keep my pet cobweb in the corner of my shower, a visual reminder that I need to check the corners of my heart for spiritual cobwebs.  Because nobody likes those kinds of cobwebs.  

Not even me.