Maybe it’s time to fix my screens

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Last night when I opened the back door to let the dog out for his nightly constitutional, the cool air of autumn gave me a slight chill. It was glorious.

It made me think of nights when I would sleep with the windows open, listening to the calm sounds of crickets, whippoorwills, owls and frogs. For a few seconds I considered doing that again.

But then I remembered we don’t have screens on the bedroom window. If I opened the window for the things I enjoyed, I would also be opening it for the things I don’t. Those things include mosquitos and other night-flying bugs. 

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I like sleeping in the cool weather, but not so much the waking up with itchy bites.

Plus, maybe it’s not such a good idea in general to leave the windows open at night for possible burglary attempts. I’m not worried about it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

Opening the windows to my home can be a blessing or a curse. If I open it unfiltered (unscreened), then all kinds of things can get in. Only with the presence of a window screen could I keep out the undesirable things.

How well do I keep the windows of my heart and mind “screened”?

Am I actively working to filter out what doesn’t need to be there? Or I am unguardedly allowing anything at all to come right on in?

That window in my bedroom used to have a screen on it. I don’t know what happened to it. It probably got damaged and removed, then discarded. Never replaced. The only way to make it screened again is to add a new screen. Simple enough, right?

The damage could have come from a lawn mower, a mischievous kid, an over-aggressive window washer. Who knows? It may not have even been noticed until much later, when it began to unravel.

I’m supposed to guard my heart (spirit) and mind. I am solely responsible for what I read, watch, think about, etc. I may not can help what I glimpse or see temporarily, but I can help if I stay focused on it.

When my family first moved to New Orleans in the late 1990s, we were used to sirens. We thought. But we were not.

Sirens from ambulances, law enforcement and fire trucks were so common at all hours of the day, we found ourselves beginning to ignore them if they weren’t in close proximity to us. What should have alarmed us (get it? Alarm? Heh. Anyway) no longer bothered us at all.

If I am not careful, and I allow myself to be exposed to foul language repeatedly, I can find it appearing in my own vocabulary. If I allow myself to be exposed to things I should really avoid — like the pervasive sexuality and violence and disregard for life and godliness in so much of popular media* — over and over, I can find that I am no longer offended by these things, no longer bothered to pray over them, avoid them. I may not even notice them any more at all.

And that’s dangerous. That’s worth being concerned about. If I realize I’m at that point, it means I need to put up new “screens” in my heart, mind … and eyes. Only God can help me do that correctly.

I’m going to examine my “windows” today and see where I need new screens.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at

*”Media” refers any books, movies, TV, social media, streaming services, etc.