Friday, October 12, 2012

Don't Take Everything for "Granite"!

Luke 11:39
Then the Lord said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness."

A few years ago, my husband, Danny, and I decide it's high time we spruce up our kitchen and bathrooms.  The white Formica counter tops, in place since the house was constructed in the 80s, are showing the wear and tear from years of use.  And, because they are white, it is a constant chore to keep them sparkling and stain-free.

From the get-go, Danny and I are in complete agreement about the new counter tops.  They need to be granite.  And, they need to blend with our brown cabinets and wood floors.

Danny does his homework on the internet and chooses a company with good reviews from its customers.  The promises of a wide and varied selection and one-day installation appeal to both of us.

When we arrive at the business,we are absolutely overwhelmed.  Even the reviews could not prepare us for the myriad choices of colors and patterns offered here.  Fortunately, as we have already determined granite to be the stone we want, we can ignore the marble and quartz.  Such a relief!

As it is, we spend a good hour looking.  Comparing.  Back to this one.  Back to that one.  Decisions, decisions . . .

Then, we see it.  The one we both fall in love with . . .


An exquisite piece of Italian granite.  Perfect!

I can hardly wait to have see our kitchen after this gorgeous stone is installed.  And, it seems like an eternity before the day of transformation arrives.

But, happily, it does!


How we love our new counter tops!  Shiny.  Durable.  A joy to behold.

Even when they're dirty . . .

Yes, you heard me right.  Because, the sprinkling of cookie crumbs, that drop of olive oil, or straying coffee grounds  aren't immediately obvious.  They blend in like a camouflaged hunter in a deer stand.

Unless I'm vigilant about wiping down the counters, there they stay.  Yet, to the casual eye, the counters appear clean.

Clean . . . like the Pharisees' cups and bowls.  When, in truth, they are marred.  Stained.

Filthy . . .

In dire need of a thorough scrubbing.  A good cleansing.

Jesus makes it very clear:  looking good on the outside is not enough.  It is what is within our hearts that counts.  Hearts which, in our sins and shortcomings, need His forgiveness.  His mercy.

His cleansing blood . . .
~
Is your heart in need of a good cleaning?

Please pray with me:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid:  Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.
~Book of Common Prayer, Holy Eucharist, Rite Two

32 comments:

  1. Yup my dear Martha...my heart does need a good cleaning and so does my soul. I so wish to forget all that happened and let go of those hurtful memories so that I can embrace my present with a smile and look forward to a future which is full of hopes!

    I am praying with you and saying AMEN <3

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Me!
      You are certainly not alone in this arena. We all need a good scrubbing from the Lord!
      Thank you for praying with me - this is one of my favorites from the BoCP.
      Blessings to you!

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  2. I too went from laminate to granite and absolutely love it. It is also true that the design of the granite covers up what is often a messy countertop... I actually hate to admit this in public but since you've already opened the door to self-disclosure I will too... How does this translate into our personal lives? Everyone projects an image but it is so important to not only keep it real but also to constantly strive to be aware of our inner self. Writing is certainly one way to share a more personal side but it too can become a mask of deception. thought-provoking post...

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Lynne, and glad you could identify with the self-disclosure aspect. And, writing can be a two-way street, can't it? Sometimes we are so anxious to put our best foot forward, we gloss over the flaws in our own lives. We do have to be self-aware and true to our inner selves. What a great reminder you've given me here as I'm about to meet a bunch of people I don't know at Danny's reunion . . .
      Blessings to you always!

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  3. we are getting granite after Christmas..my Christmas present.
    your kitchen is beautiful!!! good for you.
    Catholics believe in the sacrament of confession. where we confess our sins to a priest who acts in the name of Christ...and when we confess our sins they are forgiven... and our souls are wiped clean.
    it is beautiful.

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    1. Hooray! You're getting granite! You will love it, I promise.
      And, what would we do without the sacrament of confession? Knowing that Christ forgives us and we are given a clean slate? Or, in this case, a clean counter top. :)
      Glad you liked the post and thanks so much for visiting!

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  4. Hi Martha:
    Looks like you chose the right compliment. The granite is a perfect match for your kitchen and on top of that you get to say it's clean when it isn't.
    --
    Chris

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  5. Oh, yes, I do love them, Chris! Sometimes when we have unexpected company, it is a relief to know the counters don't advertise dirt and stains. :) However, I really try to keep up with them.
    Have a great weekend!
    Blessings!

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  6. Thank you for this wonderful analogy that is so easy to understand and so universal. Without the grace of God, it is not possible to embark on that journey to our higher self, the one that He wants us to be. New to your blog, and glad to have found it. Lovely counter (and kitchen), congratulations.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Subhorup, and welcome!
      Yes, I agree that it is impossible to develop our spiritual potential without the grace of God and His continual love and forgiveness toward us. May He renew our hearts and minds every day!
      So glad to have you on board and hope to see you here often.
      Blessings!

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  7. First of all, your kitchen is gorgeous! :-)

    And yes, my heart absolutely needs some cleaning every now and then. I figured that when one is clean on the inside, the beauty would radiate from inside out. But when the inside is dirty, no matter how I clean the outside, the dirt from within still shows.

    Thank you for blessing my weekend with your reflectios, Martha! God bless! ❤ :-)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Irene, and glad you like the new kitchen. I know I do! :)
      And, you are absolutely correct - if we are dirty on the inside, the light of Christ cannot shine through us and radiate His love to others. May He cleanse us daily!
      So happy that this post is a blessing for you. Know that you are a blessing to me!

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  8. congratulations looks really great !! Hey it's italian what did you expect :)
    Honestly it looks a lot like ours if not the same really really close !!

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    1. Thanks, Jim! Yes, where Danny is concerned, Italian is always the favored choice. :) But, of course, I love them, too. It's neat to know yours are so similar to ours.
      Blessings to you!

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  9. Wow, I was going along enjoying your kitchen remodel story and all of a sudden it was about my dirty spirit. You do have a way of finding a deep lesson in everything. Praying and learning without ceasing. Beautiful on all levels.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Galen, and for your kind compliments on the post. It means so much!
      May we all pray and learn from the Lord without ceasing!
      Blessings to you!

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  10. Beautiful kitchen...mine is white, very white, counters, cupboards, walls are a white print wall paper. I loved it for the light when we moved in. Then the children arrived, well, I'm sure you know how that goes. Great post once more, I do love that granite.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Jan!
      Having an all-white, light and bright kitchen is very appealing, but not when the young ones so easily leave their fingermarks and spilled juice everywhere. :) Yes, I certainly can relate to those days . . .
      Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the compliment.
      Blessings to you!

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  11. Ouch! You've just help coin a new term for me... Granite Christians! Those who hide their stains in plain sight. Great imagery, Martha.

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    1. Ooh, Andy, you must use that one in your posts! Granite Christians . . . now, that's a perfect way to describe those whose own sins seem to elude them.
      Thanks so much for coming by, my friend!
      Blessings always!

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  12. Thank you for this interesting and thought-provoking post, Martha! Yes, my heart is in need of a good cleaning at least on a daily basis ;-*

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    1. I think the daily basis cleaning is necessary for us all, dear Linda. But, how many of us take the time to do so, to ask the Lord to help us start over? I know I've stumbled in this arena many times . . .
      Thanks so much for visiting, my friend!
      Blessings to you!

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  13. Ohhhhh for sure I need some scrubbing and cleansing.... sometimes I wish it wasn't so hard to scrub the dirt away.....your kitchen is so beautiful... loving you...As always...XOXOXOXOXO

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Bonnie!
      As I said to Linda, there is not a one of us not in need of the scrubbing and cleansing . . . no, not one!
      Thanks, too, for the compliment on the kitchen. I really have loved the change.
      Love and blessings!

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  14. Wow...beautiful kitchen! And I love how you tie everything together at the end of your posts. I could always use a little more cleaning in my heart..in fact, it's overdue for an overhaul..
    ~ blessings

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jessica, and glad you liked the kitchen! :)
      Our hearts certainly do call for the daily cleansing . . . and not a one of us can say we don't need it.
      Blessings to you!

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  15. The kitchen is my favorite part of the house besides our bedroom. I love keeping it sparkling clean, even as I cook and whip up whatever I'm in the mood for. Your post reminded me that as I keep it clean, the one who uses and maintains it ought to be clean as well. Thank you for this timely reminder.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Anne!
      I love being in my kitchen, too, even though my husband does most of the cooking. And, yes, as we clean our homes, we should remember to check our hearts to see if they are in the right place, too. :)
      Blessings to you!

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  16. When we re-did our kitchen, we installed something called cat's eye granite, Martha. It's even darker than yours. We needed that for our Indian cooking because we use turmeric. In case you don't know, we get wonderful granite in India too and export it.
    But coming to the meaning of your post. I know that for years, I went around like the Pharisees, acting clean when I was. Only grace can save us from ourselves!

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    1. Cat's eye granite sounds gorgeous, Corinne. Maybe you could post a photo of your counter tops for Friday Moment? :)
      And, I, too, am guilty of being like the Pharisees, going through the motions, more worried about what I looked like to others than my relationship with the Lord. It IS grace alone that saves us!
      Blessings to you!

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  17. I was plagued by scruples after the Ephphatha experience... and it takes discernment to hear the Voice of God which speaks of TRUTH.

    The thing is I always look inside and how authentic I've been living. I see my faults and I do act like a Pharisee most of the time. But so much introspection could also be deceiving if I focus on my faults.

    I guess the real 'cleansing' comes when God's goodness and love is magnified inspite of our faults. God's greatness vs. our littleness...Ooo, what great love He has for us.

    I remember your 'Gratitude' ~ attitude post.

    I pray with you...continually cleanse us...purify us Lord.

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    1. Sorry for not seeing this sooner, Melissa! I so appreciate you stopping by as always. :)
      There is a bit of the Pharisee in all of us. We strive to look good to others, knowing we are simply covering up our own faults and shortcomings.
      How our mighty and loving God can work through us in spite of our faults is truly a miracle. May He cleanse us all!
      Thank you for praying with me, my dear!
      Blessings to you!

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