When my husband and I bought my mother-in-law’s home twenty years ago, I felt sorry for the woman. She’d spent thirty years in a dreary kitchen that depressed me. Shaped like a U, the kitchen’s counter ended at the stove on one side and the refrigerator finished the counter on the other. Workspace was at a premium.
The space where the dishwasher should have been had been converted to a cabinet with an ill-fitting door. Not only were the all-wood cupboards stained a dark brown in keeping with their era, but the countertops and sink were brown. Need I tell you the color of the stove? Thoughts of spending every day within the gloomy interior sent me searching for a therapist.
Since I consider part of my ministry to family and friends to be from my kitchen, I knew I couldn’t work in this one. My husband agreed. We custom-ordered a stack of cupboards, a drawer, and a broom closet from a builder and installed the units on the other side of the stove. The existing cupboards were in good shape so we resurfaced the dark brown exterior with white Impervo, which was then a new-on-the-market paint that dries to a plastic finish. My clever husband experimented with different paint rollers and achieved the no-fingerprint finish we’d seen on new cabinets at the home supply store.
We added a hardwood maple floor and a contractor laid blue-marble countertops with new counter space on each side of the stove. Remarkably both sides of the kitchen’s U now ended at the same place. For the final touch, I attached bright-flowered ceramic pulls to all the doors. We replaced the appliances with stainless steel. The effect was magical, like going from a cave into the sunlight.
What I didn’t anticipate was the downside of having an all-white kitchen. Every dollop of ketchup, dribble of steak sauce, or splash of coffee showed. Spots I never would have seen on wood-colored cabinets now displayed themselves in blazing color. The stainless steel surfaces showed fingerprints. Going from darkness to light had its price. I would need to clean often.
We also move from a place of darkness to one of light when we accept God’s invitation to eternal life by giving our hearts to Christ. This transformation, though, comes without a price, it is a free gift given to us. Jesus’ blood sacrifice for us at Calvary paid it all. Where once our sins were hidden away from the scrutiny of God’s Word, when we say yes to the Savior, our deeds are brought into the light and our slate is wiped as clean as my white cupboards.
Now when we sin, the infraction glares at us like a smudge on a white surface or a fingerprint on stainless steel. But the good news is that He has forgiven us—past, present and future. We don’t have to worry about new stains. Christ carries the cleanser; He does the scrubbing.
It is human nature to stray from God’s Word, act against His wishes and fall into sin. It is God’s nature to forgive. We are adopted into God’s family when we say yes to the cross. All we have to do is ask.
That’s a whole lot easier than washing cupboards.