Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Absence makes the heart feel guilty...

It's been two whole months since I last posted on my own blog, and judging by the site meter results, it looks like my visitors have dwindled down to those accidental tourists who get directed here by their own googling mistakes.

But if you think I've ignored the blog, you should see what's happening in my house! My 13-year-old has just discovered -- no embraced -- the true meaning of anarchy. And my 7-year-old, not to be outdone by her older brother, has quickly followed suit.

In the past two or three weeks, they have refused to go to bed, eat their fruit and veg, pick up wet towels, put away dishes, or turn off the TV and video games when asked. Their dad is looking a little gimlet-eyed of late, too -- he exploded (a lot from a very mild-mannered guy) the other day about how nobody listens to him. That would include me.

And don't even get me started on the house. I was going to go get a new prescription for eye glasses but have decided against it -- I don't want to see the dirt sticking to baseboards like a leech to a swimmer's legs, or the dust that coats the tops of doorjambs and picture frames like newly fallen snow (in a snowstorm).

As if I wasn't overwhelmed enough, I've taken up reading Revelations (it's the subject of my new seven-week Bible study course and not some form of twisted punishment). It could actually be viewed as a book of hope, except for those who refuse to bask in the light of God's illumination.

It's like the dust in my house -- I don't want to see it, so I'll walk around without glasses. But we can't do that with God, cuz if we hope to get closer, the light emanating from his glory and presence is so blinding that it shows off all our dark and dusty corners.

There's one big difference between housekeeping and faith, though, and that is Jesus parable of leaving the interior home so spotless it becomes an open invitation for Diabolo to take up residence. While we're meant to tidy up our messy interior, we're also supposed to fill it immediately with the Holy Spirit.

I'll take that parable into the mundane -- or the profane, as my house looks today -- and exploring my neglect of children, house, husband, and dog (whose nails I only managed to clip last night after three months). In light of those preoccupations, it means that I not only have to sweep out the cobwebs -- the dust and dirt -- but also the bad habits of relating ("whaddya mean you have no clean socks, underwear or towels, if you don't like it, then wash them yourself -- I'm on strike!").

It also means filling my home with a certain kind of presence -- praise of God, focus on Jesus, a relationship with the Spirit. That's the only thing that gets you anywhere in trying to mend fences with those you've disconnected from.

Cuz, anyone who's ignored their kids for a period of time will tell you that it's not easy sidling up to them after you've gone awol (even if it was to work so hard you could afford braces for their crooked little teeth). They're like pets you've left at the kennel for holidays -- they ignore your attempts for a statutory three days then they're all over you like a pig on a sofa.

It's not so bad, though -- usually all they're looking for is food, a hug, and a word of praise.