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March 20, 2007

What is it with carpet that no matter the quality or color it will draw every stain known to man? With three kids house pick-up can be like a hidden mind field of carpet blemishes. I just don’t understand how they get there.

You work to ensure that the kids only eat in the dinning and kitchen area. You insure that they don’t take any stain happy beverages into the carpeted no man’s land and still when you move the chair you can’t figure out how something orange splashed down on your tan carpet.

Carpet and stains just go together. We had friends once who were very proud that they kept their carpets spotless. Sure, they had plastic down and you had to go through a sanitation tent when entering their home, but the carpet stayed a wonderful shade of cream.

The carpet looked great but you walked on egg shells at their home. You entered their home in fear. It was hard to feel comfortable or at home when each moment you worried about what might get spilled. It is only fortunate that we only had one child at that point. I can’t imagine trying to keep track of all three as they moved in and out of this stain free carpet oasis.

The more lived in something is the rougher it becomes. Now I’m not saying it becomes a pit but small stains do exist. We live in our church building quite a bit. We turn our sanctuary into a medical waiting room each month. WE have kids running around coloring and playing. We use our sanctuary for meals, our fellowship hall just doesn’t work when our entire body gets together.

Recently we had a Cajun style boil that got out of hand. I don’t know how it happened but a napkin caught on fire and ended up on the carpet. Fortunately it wasn’t anything major because our church response time was lacking. It was like we had never seen fire before. Some went running for a fire extinguisher like they had a four-alarm on their hands while others pawed around for a glass of water. People were yelling stop drop and roll and several got bellow the strike zone Dick Van Dyke style. Ladies screamed and men started jumping around. Several people employed their shoes to bring the inferno under control.

Anyway, we now have a black stained charred and melted spot right down our center aisle. It makes for a great story though I think it really bothers some. We have other stains where a candle was knocked over and the wax poured over the carpet, each of the stains tells a story.

Is that bad? My house has stain on its carpet. Where did we get the idea that a church building should be an ivory tour, unblemished from what happens in the normal world? When we went to our friends they kept their carpet clean but it didn’t make their home feel welcoming, eating over plastic has a tendency to do that you know.

What does your facility feel like? What does it say? I was reading a book today where a woman commented that, “Don’t they realize that anything less than excellence for God is not good enough?”

I hear what she is saying but is that really true? Does she want excellence for God or for herself? When God went and touched the leper was he thinking about surroundings? I like the fact that our building doesn’t feel all clean and pristine, it is rather lived in. I mean we don’t leave it a mess but the carpet does have some spots, the paint may have a chip or two. I’m not saying we ignore keeping things clean or nice but doesn’t there come a point where we create a place that isn’t welcoming or that sends the wrong message?

Jesus rebuked the Pharisee’s for being whitewashed tombs. They seemed to be able to keep the outside looking good. I wonder what message we send by having overly clean and fancy buildings. Do we say people who are still dirty are not welcome? Jesus goes and eats with some very unclean people, is there a correlation?

I’m not sure but I wonder. Our building tends to show the character of our church. Yesterday another of those fringe people said they wanted to be identified with our fellowship. Who knows what may come from this as we move ahead on our journey.

What do you think?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 20, 2007 5:09 pm

    Darin I like the new blog. Just stopped by the old one for old times sake 🙂 I hope we can still take a few side roads though.

    Bobby Valentine

  2. March 21, 2007 12:47 am

    What do I think, I think this was a darn good post.

    The title alone made me cringe. I bought new carpet in 2004, by 2006 it needed to be replaced. In two years, it aged 15. Now, I am getting new carpet, again, in my new house. With the money I am spending, it better last me until I have grand children…sorry, a bit off topic, but, hey, you had to name your post “carpet”.

  3. March 21, 2007 9:46 am


    I agree with the point you’re making. Our building is one of our most significant symbols. We can look at it, or better yet “read” it, in order to learn a lot about ourselves. For instance, the church building we assemble in has a half-steeple and no handicapped access. Imagine what those two realities say about us. When I was a kid I wasn’t too excited about spending forever in a place called heaven. I couldn’t run in the church building, had to wear special clothes, couldn’t do anything that even bordered on fun–the church building was a zone for unlife. But heaven, with its golden streets, sounded even more ethereal. If I’d get my ears slapped for giggling during a sermon, or my rear end dusted for spilling koolaid on the carpet, how much worse would be the punishment if I made a mess in heaven?

    Ben Overby

  4. March 21, 2007 3:57 pm

    Thanks for stopping in everyone.

    Ben, it is no wonder you are the way you are. This explains a lot. I agree with your assessment.

  5. Jim Sexton permalink
    March 22, 2007 7:42 pm

    Grape juice and coffee were invented long before wall to wall carpeting. Spotless carpeting is a sign of a misplaced sense of importance. I would also not trust a mechanic with spotless tools to work on my car, he is either a novice or not trying hard enough.

    Now about that burnt offering… is cajun style one of the acceptable kinds from the Mosaic law, or is this more along the line of the strange fire offerings to God? I think it is a perfect starting point for a lesson! Unless you have canceled your bible classes, as some are in the habit of doing.


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