Unclogging Sinks and Hearts –

By: Judith Hargett

It’s one of those sounds you don’t like to hear…that gurgling noise in the sink. You know it’s just a matter of time before the sink stops draining, and the clog has to be cleared. I was faced with such an issue recently when my side of the bathroom sink stopped draining. I didn’t mention it to husband because I knew he would immediately suggest it was my hair causing the clog. I had assured him many times that I was very careful not to wash my hair down the drain, an assurance I thought to be accurate. Still, I took on the plumbing job with stealth…like the pink panther of plumbers. First I turned to baking soda, vinegar and hot water; a method usually effective in cleaning if not clearing. This method works best when used on a regular basis, not as an emergency backup. With sink still gurgling, I grabbed my trustworthy plumbing tool, an old toothbrush (requires no plumbing license), and began poking it into the drain. At first I got nothing more than some black goop on the brush, certainly not enough to clog a drain. Taking on a more aggressive stance, I plunged the toothbrush as far down the drain as my hand would allow while hoping it didn’t slip out of my fingers which would certainly have required husband notification. When the toothbrush seemed to meet with resistance I pulled it up finding a few strands of hair tangled in the bristles. I repeated the maneuver several times until I pulled out something that looked like a hairpiece for a long-haired dachshund. Water began to flow freely down the drain at this point.

With the plumbing project completed, I headed to my favorite chair for a little break. Sunlight was streaming across the floor, the bluebirds were raising their second set of downy feathered beggars, the temperatures were still tolerable, plants were starting to bloom and a cup of coffee sat within reach. Sounds like a relaxing scene doesn’t it? It didn’t last long. The cheerful beam of sunshine revealed great quantities of dust my cleaning rag had missed, along with a huge smear across the glass storm door. That was motivation enough to get me out of my chair and out the door to check the mail. Ahh. The great outdoors, where dust is acceptable. I detoured along the way to pick a yellow rose. As I was removing a thorn from my thumb, something swooped down barely missing my head. The bird-brained creature continued to dive bomb me until I returned to the driveway. I’m guessing there was a fledgling bluebird in the grass. Retrieving my scattered nerves, I continued to the mailbox; an activity that I count as part of my daily exercise regime.

The mail carrier had delivered another round of graduation announcements, a wedding invitation, requests from three organizations for donations and a pile of ads that would need sorting to ensure no real mail had gotten mixed in with them. As I started back to the house, my nose began to drip and my foot began to itch, reminders that the great outdoors also has its drawbacks. I returned to my favorite chair to open the mail. The sun had moved just enough so that it no longer exposed the dust or smears; instead it provided a lovely glow. Safe from the attacking bluebirds I could admire them through the now miraculously smudge-free glass door as they hovered just above the grass, waiting to catch a bug for the family supper.

Remembering the drain I’d cleared earlier, I was reminded of how our lives can also get clogged up. Our schedules sometime reflect too much busy work and not enough quiet time with our Creator. When we neglect to confess our sins on a regular basis and spend time in The Word, our minds can begin to gum up with the goop of human thinking. Before long, we’re complaining like Martha as recounted by Luke in his recording of the Gospel. He begins her story in Luke 10:38-40 (NIV): “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

But Jesus was quick to point out Martha’s faulty thinking, continuing now in verses 41 and 42:
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

If we don’t spend time at the feet of Jesus on a regular basis, our lives will not reflect His. Busyness that excludes worship can lead us, like Martha, into self-pity. I think Dr. Luke would agree with this prescription: Prayer, scripture intake and meditation on the Word can clear the heart of stubborn spiritual clogs when used on a regular basis. (While it is impossible to overdose, a missed dose can be hazardous to your health, and possibly cause you to be very annoying to those around you.)

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