It lay down perfectly. Seams went straight and tight.
Before the chic I- must- have- ceramic- tile, it was a good choice for a hundred year old not so quite plumb kitchen floor.
It has taken a foot pounding, dog jumping, slipper slipping assault, not to mention dish breaking, milk spilling, mitten dripping abuse for fifteen years.
Then there was under the standing.
Under the early morning breakfast standing, praying the beginning of the day.
Under the after school snack standing.
Under a conflicted teenager standing.
The weight of waiting.
Determined not to let the sun go down on anger standing.
Eventually all that pressure.
Seams moved apart ever so slightly.
Yesterday I lifted up the rug and there it was.
Old glue, black and congealed, had seeped through the seams and adhered to the tile face.
Tarred. Marred. Scarred.
The poor old floor had given in to the pressure.
What was hidden was now revealed in all its blackness.
No scrubbing. No elbow grease.
Stronger methods are needed to conquer the black.
Grace is a sword.
Double edged like a razor.
Able to cut the black away on the first stroke.
Able to pick up the chaff and polish on the second.
Grace glints sharp against the assault of the enemy of my soul who says I am finished in my sin, the black that seeps from me sometimes when I am under pressure.
The pressure that squeezes out the angry face, the hurtful words, the accusations.
I need the grace blade that cuts away only the parts that hurt, that stain and disfigure, but leaves what He intended in the first place.
Grace comes hanging on a cross and I am not finished.
I am not destroyed.
It is finished. Every stain, every blemish, every sin is destroyed instead.
Nailed to the cross.
Grace that hung on a tree straightens everything out.
I am made clean by the blade of the Grace sword.
No more black oozes from the pressure.
Life-Bringing Garden Green.