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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: light (05/24/04)

TITLE: Windows
By Karen Treharne



An old drama entitled WINDOWS has a rather unusual scene. An aged window cleaner is washing and polishing windows in the study of a famous journalist. The journalist has his head down and is idly toying with a pencil in front of a blank piece of paper, trying to receive some inspiration or an idea that he can record. The elderly window cleaner looks over his shoulder and almost as if he happened to be talking to himself, he says, “Dining room windows get dirty,living room windows get dirty, den and kitchen windows get dirty. Dust and all sorts of grease and smoke just congregate there and you can’t see out. They get dull and pale and it’s hard to see clearly what’s on the outside.”

He looks over to see if the journalist is listening, and when he recognizes that he is, he gets down to business and says what he wanted to say in the first place.

“Life’s windows get dirty, with jealousy, prejudices, envy, bitterness, and grudges. They get dirty. And when life’s windows get dirty, people have a tough time seeing the light, and sometimes they can’t see it at all.”

Perhaps we can all relate to this story. Our life’s windows get corroded with our ideas. They get polluted with the vulgarity and the profanity that surrounds us. And before long they can get so obscure and so unclean that we literally cannot see through them.

In scripture we are told that the eye is the light of the body, and what we see with our eyes determines the light or the darkness that is within us. That means that life’s windows can get dirty, or cloudy, or obscure depending on what we‘re viewing. When this happens, what can we do?

Washing them on the outside isn’t enough. We need to clean them on the inside. We need to turn to the life-giving ministry of the Holy Spirit, and allow Him to bring light and life to those of us living in the darkest of circumstances, or hiding behind dirty windows.

Member Comments
Member Date
Marie B. Corso05/31/04
Good illustration, good development. Well written. Very nice.
Gary Sims05/31/04
Karen - I like the illustration of dirty windows showing us the importance of Christ's renewing Spirit in order to internally clean up our view out into the world.

I have a question, however: It sounded as though the illustration of the window washer came from another source. If so, shouldn't you have provided footnotes?
B Price05/31/04
enjoyed reading... may we all get a good window washing and allow the LIGHT to be seen from the outside and the inside.
Very well done story, and I like what you did with the story using a window washer job.
Karen Treharne06/01/04
Gary: Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my submission, WINDOWS, and pointing out my error of ommission. The illustration of the window washer was obtained from www.sermonsearch.com, and I apologize for not including it as a resource. Thanks, again. Karen
Deborah Porter 06/01/04
Karen, it was a very good use of the window washer story for an illustration, well related and combined with a good message. It would definitely make a great start for a sermon (so it didn't surprise me where you found the story). But I think for the challenges I'd prefer to see more of your own creativity.

Please don't take that the wrong way. I actually think you're a very good writer Karen and the way you joined these together so well really highlighted that. But I guess I'm just a bit greedy and want to see your own illustration brought to life. :-)

Keep writing Karen. You really do have a lovely way with words. With love, Deb
L.M. Lee06/02/04
seeing our hearts are windows that need cleaning regularly...nice idea! :-)
Linda Germain 06/02/04
Cleaning windows this week, I can relate about seeing through a glass darkly! Good points and very well made. (As a sermon illustration could be done with a dirty window frame with panes and a big bottle of spray cleaner...)

Nice writing. I liked it. :0)
Lynne Gaunt06/04/04
Your story made me look at my own dirty windows with a whole new perspective. Food for thought this week! Keep writing Karen!