The front door on our house has been left unpainted for nine years. It’s not quite as awful as it sounds–the factory primer was still in great shape, although in a uniform non-colour of almost-white. Every summer, I make a ridiculously long list of jobs to do around home, and every September, I’m disappointed by what I didn’t get finished. This summer, the exterior doors were at the top of the list, because I wished I had gotten them done last year.
Early on Monday morning, before taking three of our teens to work at a local greenhouse, I snapped this photo. On my way home, I stopped in at the hardware store in our small town and picked up the colour I had chosen. My body still aching from some much bigger tasks that I’d taken on last week, I was looking forward to checking a smaller job off my list.
One coat of primer and two coats of red later, I was feeling pretty satisfied with my work, but then I started to notice some of the flaws. Although I’ve done quite a lot of painting over the years, it’s definitely been a while. Little things I should have remembered were causing me trouble; like, when I took the tape off, and a significant amount of paint started to peel off with it. Or when insects would fly onto the fresh surface and stick there until I came out to do the next coat. So now, I’m done, but not really done, because the touch-ups will take some time.
As I worked, I wondered if this is how God feels about us. Sometimes I think we all might as well hang a “Work in Progress” sign around our necks, because we are all ongoing, unfinished improvement projects. I’ve been given a fresh coat of paint, so to speak, more than once, only to mess it up, sometimes royally. I know I’ve had more touch-ups than I could even try to count. I wonder if God grumbles about my mess-ups the way I did when I noticed the almost-dried drip running down below the doorknob, just one more spot I will need to fix.
I hope he doesn’t. I still need a lot more work.