I live in a great apartment complex. However, like everywhere you have people, the strangeness of human behavior is exhibited. Most of us at times find ourselves in denial over our actions, weaknesses, and sins. This is from January 29, 2007. It's not a pretty tale.
You're going to have to stick with me on this one. This isn't one of those nice, heartwarming stories I try to tie into my daily entry. Bible examples were sometimes graphic and this one probably fits into that category. My apartment complex has inside halls that, at the end, are open to the outside. Two days ago, I walked out in the morning to one of the most disgusting sights I have ever seen. Two doors down, a dog had left a deposit right in front of the door of an apartment I know is occupied. It was about the size and shape of a honey bun topped by a scoop of ice cream. We have elderly people in our apartments who don't use sound judgment when walking their dogs, which according to policy, must be kept on a leash. Maybe that is how the doo-doo came to reside on the carpet forty feet from my door. It stayed there all day...and it stunk. It got cold last night in Houston and about 5:15 this morning, I walked by the deposit, frozen solid. Yesterday, though, was my favorite. Somebody covered it with a little newspaper tent to hide it, like it wasn't actually still on the rug. I guess it was because it stared me in the face as I went to work out, pre-dawn. There is good news, though. It was gone when I came home from school this afternoon! Maybe the dog/cat was struck by conscience pangs. My guess is the maintenance workers removed it as they made their garbage pick-up rounds this morning. All I know it has disappeared, to my great relief. I hope it stays away.
My classes took quizzes over Luke 12 and Luke 14 today but I brought up the mess to make a point. I asked how many of the students would have cleaned it up if it was their apartment door that was in the line of fire. Half said they would have and half said, "no way!" The yes group knew that the smell would come inside when the door was open and it was a constant humiliation. The no squad would refuse because it wasn't their animal and someone else would eventually get around to it. I really concentrated on the covering up the droppings with the Houston Chronicle. It was like, if you can't see it, it's not there! If you ignore it, maybe it will go away! I talked with the kids about how we pretend problems don't exist. Everybody knows they are there but we cover them up and hope nobody sees. Maybe it's a family secret or maybe even an individual demon we struggle with. Ignoring a toothache never fixed the cavity. David acknowledged the value of confronting the issues:
"Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgression to the Lord'- and you forgave the guilt of my sin." (Psalm 32:5)
The dilemmas of life are best faced in the open, with the support of others. Christianity is a religion of openness and disclosure, not of secrecy and cover up. Jesus wants us to be lights but a covered light is essentially darkness. An addict breaking the bonds of addiction is cleaning up his/her life. Sometimes, cleaning up is more than a metaphor. It's a dirty job but one that benefits more than just one. I can breathe easier tonight.
Applicable quote of the day:
"What are you hiding? No one ever asks that."
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