Holiness is our housekeeping for the heart

Published 9:00 am Sunday, May 29, 2022

My family knows that my comfort zone is either in the kitchen — stirring up a sweet, or with a pen or shovel in my hand . Domestic housekeeping is not in my forte! They all know it and don’t mind if they see a cobweb under a chair or a few fingerprints on the glass door.

However when we are expecting company I push my dislike for house cleaning to a distant brain cell and accept my assignment. Company is special and needs to be treated as such.

This was company week. I reached for mop, oily rags, broom, Comet, glass cleaner and courage as I tackled our not so squeaky-clean home. The front door was a good start. Residue of wind-blown rain debris nestled in the corners of the panes and needed removing. First impressions are important. It is always amazing how much better the view is from a cleaned door and window.

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Next, I went to the kitchen. When I’m using my cooking eyes, I see only the ingredients I use in the recipe. When I’m cleaning, I see details — like the stovetop grunge, the fridge door holding foreign germs, the cabinet door knobs that hold a bit of biscuit flour, the corners deep under the cabinets that collect cookie crumbs. My assignment is obvious – my neglect is, too.

Next, I tackled the floors — some carpet, hardwood and tile. The stains were removable; they just required a portion of elbow grease from the knees position. I applied it.

The bathrooms were next. Commodes ARE on my list to attend to weekly, but the hard-to-reach floor areas behind those seaters are oft forgotten! This day I was about details, so I crawled around those neglected places and cleaned vigorously. Then I saw baseboards that I seldom notice. They were carriers of dust that needed to go — maybe a few weeks ago! More crawling along the baseboards and our home was emerging into a hygienically safe environment.

As I was training my eyes toward details, I noticed that the metal thresholds at our front and back doors were harboring unwanted scuffs and stains. Back on the floor, I scrubbed the thresholds and found them to be shiny like when we moved in. Gradually I began feeling like a liberator of the ignored and a finalist in the Good Housekeeping Award.

Room by room, detail by detail — I stayed with my goal of squeaky clean. And I arrived. The dreaded chore was behind me, and the joy of a dust-free, grunge-removed home was worth all the elbow grease I administered.

Then the Holy Spirit prompted me with another thought. Was I that concerned with the details in keeping a clean heart and pure hands? Was the threshold of my mouth cleansed of idle talk and words that were judgmental? Was my heart free of the worldliness that can filter in subtly? Was the washing of God’s Word a daily habit for heart cleansing? Was I conscious that my spiritual eyes might become cloudy, causing me to lose my focus?

Seeking the Father’s ‘washing’ would be a solution when I get on my knees and wait silently before Him. He’s well aware of every sin, and it’s certainly His desire that His children be holy.

Neglecting housekeeping may be part of what my family has to accept, but may I never neglect the pursuit of holiness. The Holy Spirit isn’t ‘company’ that visits; He is a permanent resident in my heart, and I want His home to be spiritually — even “squeaky” clean.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602.