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TITLE: Dirty Ashtrays
By Elizabeth Hale
07/23/06
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All comments, criticism, etc. are welcome and much needed. Two are always better than one--maybe you guys can help make this sharper.
My Nana was a cleaner, always running her finger over the furniture, anywhere she went, checking for dust. She didn't do this to be judgemental, it was just a habit of hers.

Dirty ashtrays bothered her though. She hated the fact that everyone in her family smoked, except her. We always kept the ashtrays emptied, but in my own apartment, I never actually washed them.

Nana would come in, set her purse down, do her white glove test, and then gather all the ashtrays she could find. She'd carry them all to the sink and get scrubbing. She'd hold them up and say "Just look at all that black stuff. That's what is getting into your lungs!"

It was a humbling, often embarrassing thing to endure. I never let my Nana see me smoke. Ever.
And I don't know why I didn't just wash them myself before she got there. I think it was the talks we had, standing over that sink washing ashtrays.

Sin is like the black gunk that gets left in the bottom of those ashtrays. It just builds up, layer upon layer, until you really need a good scrubbing to get clean again. Yet, somewhere under all those layers, is you. Jesus can restore you right back to your 'factory' condition, if you let Him. We only need to sincerely want His scrubbing. We have to throw ourselves into His sink, and allow him to clean us up.

We need to stay on guard, not let sin build up. We have to clean as we go.

My Nana cleaned my ashtrays, and warned me of things because she loved me.

Jesus loves us like that, only so much more!

He, and only He, can restore our souls.
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