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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Dirty Windows

The thing about a sunny day, is that you can see the dirty windows more clearly.

We get the late afternoon sun beaming into the living room at this time of year. Westward facing, the sunsets can be stunning and of course, my windows are not so dirty I can’t even see them! But there are times when I can’t seem to see beyond the streaks and the rain spots and the bird droppings. 

When those things drag my focus away from what is inspiring and onto something the dirt, then it’s time to wash the windows. 

We’re in the middle of this general election campaign and I, like most people, am getting sick of all the promises being trotted out by each of the contenders. Each party likes to get the electorate to focus on the dirty streaks and spots left by the other party. Each party claims that if they achieve power, the dirt will be washed away for good. 

When the referendum was on here in Scotland, the national church sponsored and ran a series of focus sessions around the country, encouraging people to dream, to imagine, the kind of society they wanted to see. Then participants had to consider ways to achieve the aims which were imagined, and we found how difficult that really is.

I am sick of hearing empty promises. I would prefer to hear the parties presenting their vision for the future and establishing principles and strategies which could achieve those goals, without trying to dream up ways to erase the dirt spots which exist. Undoubtedly those dirt spots need to be scrubbed off but only when a government is in power will it be able to consider and implement ways to achieve their vision within the various constraints, financial and otherwise. 

I would imagine that most parties imagine similar visions of a society which is just, offering opportunities and providing first class health care to all. Perhaps the best way to achieve those goals is common to all parties. Our system of struggle and confrontation is not conducive to cooperation and compromise. Maybe that’s the advantage of a hung parliament.

Anyway, I’m no politician so I will get off this soap box and get out there with my brand new German-made window washing vacuum. I am hoping to justify the expense, and to enjoy a glorious sunset tonight from un-streaked windows. 

Though as soon as I’ve done them, it’s bound to rain... 

It’s a bit like sin. As soon as I’ve confessed my latest infraction and been cleansed, I’m likely to mess up again. It’s such a comfort to know that Jesus is much better than the window washing vacuum. His sacrifice washes the accumulated dirt off us in an instant, and it’s gone for good. Then I just need to have a daily foot wash from him, as he told Peter in the upper room at that last supper. 

His washing leaves us white as snow, spotless and without a streak. I can’t do it myself, though I try. Only he can wash away every stain, and fill me again with his Spirit to encourage me to keep on walking the walk.

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