There are six people in our household: two adults, three teenagers and one pre-teen. As you may imagine, we’re able to generate A LOT of laundry, which, by the way, is one of my least favorite chores. Actually, I don’t mind washing and drying so much; it’s the folding and putting away that I really don’t like. So years ago, I decided that folding laundry would be a once a week family event. I wash and dry on Saturday, and then Sunday evening is reserved for what I call “Laundry and a Movie.” We gather all the clothes in the living room and pick something to watch on TV while we fold. It has become such a routine around here that I don’t even get much of an argument any more.
This past Sunday seemed to be no different. As usual, I sent Ryan and Jason to move our mammoth pile of clothes into the living room. But after the first load or two was relocated, I was summoned to the laundry room. I arrived to see a more, shall I say, “festive” than usual pile of clothes. It seems that Leia had been busy on an art project earlier in the afternoon, and inadvertently spilled purple glitter off the counter and into … well, everything! And as people had tracked through the laundry room to move the clothes, the mess was no longer confined to one room… I quickly spotted the shimmery trail in the living room, hall, kitchen, bathroom… virtually all over the place!!!
As I sat down to begin sorting through the clothes, I shook each piece as well as I could to try to de-sparkle everything. I couldn’t help but think about what one of my friends told me… “Glitter is the herpes of the craft world! Once you have it, you can never get rid of it!” Unfortunately as I found more and more purple flecks embedded in everything from socks to underwear, I realized how true that really was!!
It’s only been a couple of days since the toxic spill, and it continues to drift and infect our entire house. I have found it in my office, on the placemats, in the sink, in my car, on the dogs, and between the keys of my cell phone. I was putting make up on yesterday, and found two pieces on my cheek! I can only imagine how nice Clif probably looks sporting his black work shirt with a purple shine! Or how masculine Ryan has been on the football field with sparkles on his practice uniform & shoulder pads! I bet before the week of practice is over, there will be several on his team who will take purple glitter home with them too!
Last evening I started up the vacuum again to try to rid our family of this purple plague, interrupting Clif as he was watching yet another commentary on the latest presidential debate. As I tried to quickly finish my task, I thought about the fervor surrounding the political campaigns as we edge closer to the final days. There have been many elections and debates before, but I can’t ever remember so much discussion about how Christians should respond and what we should do in the days to come. I couldn’t help but think there might a metaphor in my glitter dilemma that could give a bigger answer to the way believers should live, now and more importantly, long after the election is over.
Imagine if you rubbed your hands in my glitter and then went to work, to the store, to school or to have coffee with your best friend. Everywhere you went, everything you touched, and everyone you met would bear the mark of your presence. The glitter would be so embedded on you that it’d be impossible not to leave a little something behind everywhere you went. And the people you interacted with would pick it up and take it with them to their homes and workplaces. It’d be conceivable to think that the glitter from just your hands could be spread miles away in only a few days.
I think that’s the way Christians ought to be as well. Our dedication to godliness and faithfulness to the Lord ought to be so deeply embedded in who we are that no matter where we go, or who we brush against in our daily activities, we would leave at least a little something behind. Our influence could then be transferred from one to another until many bear the mark of Christ. I think that’s exactly what Jesus meant when He instructed His followers to be like salt and light. (Matthew 5:13-14) He succinctly challenges us to live in such a way that the environment around us and the people we interact with will be changed because of our presence. While November 6 is an exceedingly important day in the life of our nation, I believe that God is ultimately more interested in His children leaving His mark on their communities the other 1459 days between elections.
Have you shared any Gospel Glitter today?
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring Good News,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”