Our Windows To Others

Spring is like a bugler that announces an imminent battle. But instead of a burgle call to charge, spring calls for mops, buckets, window cleaner and polish: we know it as Spring Cleaning.
After the winter it’s easy to find establishments with dingy, smudged windows: maybe even a torn awning or a broken shutter. Unfortunately, a few of these places look uninviting all year round! Out of curiosity, I ventured to turn a grimy doorknob and entered one of these shops. I was blown away. Instead of the dismal surroundings I expected, cleanliness and alluring music greeted me. It’s sad how if one didn’t take the leap and cross the stores threshold, no one would experience this friendly environment.
I know we aren’t to judge a book by its cover. But stop and think about what draws us to those multi-facet department stores, bookshops that display our favorites in their window; Or the cathedrals with their brilliant stained glass windows. No one has to debate whether or not he or she should take the chance to go inside. No one has to make a judgment call. Good appearances invite us in to explore.
And what about people? What draws us to particular individuals? Is it how they weather the storms that bombard them? Their radiance through life’s grip of challenges? The support they share and give with others? Proverbs 15 and 17 speaks of a merry heart, and how it creates a cheerful countenance, and acts like good medicine. Does this mean they project a false front of fake happiness? On the contrary, they’ve found what it takes to sustain that sincere, welcoming spirit.
Those with the quiet peace of assurance that God will provide have learned to constantly make sure their store front is clean as it says in Psalm 51:2, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.” And again in Acts 22:16 we are called to “ . . . Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
Would anyone want to know more about our relationship with Christ and how we handle life if we appeared dour, cranky or disagreeable? God knew we couldn’t cleanse, brighten and change ourselves: if we did try, our sinful attitudes and actions would mount up to make us dirty and uninviting. That’s why 1 John 1:7 tells us to get scrubbing with the blood of Jesus Christ [God’s Son], because that is the only way we can be cleansed from our sins, and have that countenance that speaks of His love.
Unlike the storefronts that use soap and water occasionally, may we listen to that bugler call of spring to clean our spirit more than once a year. Others will watch how we traverse those rocky bumps in the road. And we must be ready for them to see clearly through our window to God.