Why would the church deacons look under my bed? Why did my dinner guests troop into the bathroom to examine the tub? There was no logical reason, unless you factor in the dirty spot law.
This law is more certain than Murphy’s law. You can count on it like the law of gravity.
It’s simply this: If there is a dirty spot in the house, someone will find it.
It doesn’t matter how hidden the spot or how unlikely the casual visitor would be to discover it. If there is dirt, they will come.
In my case, a tornado blew out the bedroom window. Helpful deacons came to assess the damage to the parsonage and measure the window for more glass. This entailed moving the bed – revealing dispirited lumps of pantyhose lying among the bountiful crop of dust bunnies. With a few odd shoes and a missing library book added to the unsavory mix we had a definite dirty spot.
On another memorable occasion, one of our dinner guests was a plumber and my husband Paul dragged him through our bedroom into the bathroom to obtain his opinion on the leaky faucet. The rest of the guests trailed along behind them. Unfortunately, the tub held an assortment of dirty clothes and clutter I tossed in, naively thinking it would be out of sight. Of course, the guest bathroom was scrubbed and shining, but no one went in there.
Through the years, the dirty spot law has proven inescapable. People looked under my sofa cushions and in my oven. Well-mannered folks examined my bedroom closet and looked in my desk drawers.
I see a definite parallel to my soul. If there is a dirty spot there, God will send someone to find it. If I gossip, the person concerned will hear about it. If I tell a lie, someone will catch me out. Bad attitudes, safely tucked away, are inevitably revealed in the most embarrassing way.
God doesn’t expose my dirty spots to punish me. He relentlessly throws them open to the light so that I see them as he sees them – and so that I’m compelled to do something about them.
The only way to stave off humiliation is to make sure there are no dirty spots, either in the house or in the soul.
“Why are you cleaning under the dryer?” Paul asked me the other day. “Do you think one of our party guests will be poking around in the laundry room?”
“Yes,” I said.
After a while, you learn these things.