The King's Gardeners Ministries

Reverend S. L. Gardner

Spokane Valley, Washington US

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- Shampooing Rugs -

The Lord teaches me things and shows me things in weird ways a lot of the time. This weekend it happened again. Bear with me as I paint this word picture for you and don't laugh too hard as you imagine me with hair falling in my face as I tackle this "impossible" task.

One bedroom in the house has a very old plush rug. Now plush rugs show every little spot at the best of times (in my experience anyway) and this one is no exception. It's old and worn and the best of the professionals I've called haven't been able to get it really clean.

I turned the room into a sitting room TV room and was able to cover the worn and very stained portions leaving only the nice portion where the bed had been showing. That worked for a while but eventually the rug started to show dirt and wear again. I'd clean and clean and use stronger and stronger shampoos to no lasting avail. That rug just seemed to attract dirt!

Now I've turned the room into my study and wouldn't ya know the very worst worn stained part of the rug is the ONLY part that shows! How embarrassing! It looks like I'm the worst at keeping my house clean!

I knew calling a professional wasn't going to help, I've done that. So I decided to use Oxy Clean a product my girlfriend just raves about. I mixed it like a paste, which is supposed to clean just about anything! It did a pretty good job too but I had to use so much I ran out waaaay before I got to the end of the mess. I also realized there was a lot of soap in the rug from when I'd tried to clean it before and that couldn't be helping.

I racked my brain for something that would be super strong with enzymes to help me clean that rug. I know! Dishwasher soap! (Yes I was desperate and I don't recommend this to anyone who's got a rug that isn't already shot). I mixed up a half cup of soap in about two cups of water then spread it around about a 2'x2' spot rubbing it in with a brush. I let it sit for about a half hour and then got the rug shampooer going. What a job! Now mind you this is only about a 3' x 7' area but I've worked on it for hours!

I had applied the soap by hand so I didn't use anything on my shampooer but the rinse. Clear hot water. I went over and over the 2'x3' area until my arms ached and my poor shampooer would overload. Tank after tank of musty gray soapy water came out of that little area. Over and over I'd rinse out the tank and start again only to have the shampooer fill up and overload from all the old soap crud in the rug. Gallon after gallon of clear hot water went quickly into the rug fibers and was pulled back out to be discarded. Many gallons later I started to see less foam and lighter watercolor. Each 2'x3' section took many many repetitions of this process.

Between sections I had to stop and rest as my arms ached, my shoulders ached and oh did I want to just quit! I kept saying "God pleeeease give me a new rug for this room! PLEEEASE! I've been saying that prayer for years but so far God hasn't seen fit to replace this one. And it's one you can't help but see, as it's the first bedroom in the hall. You have to pass it to get to the main bathroom and you can see right in every time you come out of the kitchen! It's right across from the guest coat closet and if I shut the door it makes the hallway dark!

So what's the point?

Finally I realized that this is exactly what the Lord does to us as He tries to "clean us up" and make us into what He wants us to be. He's doing that with our precious rebels too. Over and over and over He cleans drawing deeper and deeper into our very soul fibers. More and more dirt comes out each time until His cleansing water runs as clear as we can get on this ole earth.

We attract dirt like a magnet and that dirt weighs us down. Lets see what "D"irt words can I think of that weigh us down. Discouragement? Disillusioned? Doubt? Debt? Deceived? Guess I could sum a whole lot of them and more with one D word. DEVIL!

Now I'm sitting looking at this old rug as the fan blows over it's still worn but now not so bad looking fibers. I noticed something else. As the dirt came up out of the rug the fibers stood up better. Now isn't that just like God? Cleans us up so we can stand! Stand against the onslaught of gallons of water poured on us to drown us but what in the end makes us strong, clean and sturdy, ready to shine as brightly as we can.

Is the rug still old? Yep. Is it still stained? A bit. Does it show wear and tear? Yep. I don't think God is ever going to let me see this ole rug spotless. As I realized that some of those spots faded but just weren't coming out I realized that we are not spotless either. But the clean parts will outshine the spots. And each spot is a lesson learned. Don't drop lipstick on a light beige rug and not tell Mom right away. Oh and there's where the curling iron was left on and the yellow is not a spot after all but is melted yellow fibers! Ahhhh and then there's the left over grape kool aid that got spilled immediately after the rug was professionally cleaned by an over enthusiastic TV watcher. Hummm maybe these spots aren't so bad? They show that life has been lived here. Now even the stains are "clean" and ready for another batch of feet and paws parading over them once again.

Like me this ole rug is older and worn and a bit frayed at the edges in places. Some places have been walked on so many times the fibers are all twisted together making dimples where there should be a fluffy plush surface. But it's as clean as I can get it and that makes it ok. I'm getting fonder of this ole rug as I write this. Guess that's how God is with us too huh? We may be battle worn and a bit frayed about the edges sometimes but God cleans us up and pronounces us just great! He doesn't see the stains He sees the way these imperfect souls clean up and calls us good!

Like the shampooer I feel like I'm on overload from the crud not only coming out of me but coming at me in overwhelming volumes at time. But like the shampooer God empties out the crud and washes me clean over and over again. He never gives up bringing me back to a cleanness as I give up the dirt in my life and hand it over to Him.

Job 22:30 says, "He will even deliver the one for whom you intercede who is not innocent, yes, he will be delivered through the cleanness of YOUR hands."

Keep on keepin on and keep your own life clean. Your vows are made to God and He takes them seriously even if your spouse isn't right now. We are judged for our own behavior with no excuses because our spouses aren't doing what they are supposed to do according to their vows.

Father we believe, help us in our unbelief. (Mark 9:24)

Standing in faith believing, what He's done for others He will do for you.

Rev. Dr. S.L. Gardner

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