Now that warmer weather has arrived, it’s time for me to get back to my home maintenance outdoor assignment. This is the third house we’ve lived in that needed windows reglazed, and I’m the woman for the job! We’ve been in this house for 2 1/2 years, and I’ve still got 7 windows to get to. It’s not difficult, but it takes a few hours, and a sunny day…two things that don’t always conveniently coincide!
One of our front windows doesn’t have the same number of panes as the rest of them on that side of the house, but my husband found a replacement in the crawl space that matches. It didn’t look too bad, from a distance! But on closer inspection, the glazing had already been cracking and coming apart when it was painted last. You can see the gaps between the wood and the glaze here:
If left alone, the paint on this window would crack, exposing the loose glazing to the elements. Water would work its way into the cracks, seep behind the window pane, and into the house. Wind would blow through, and heat would escape. Glazing helps keep the window weatherproof, as long as it’s in good condition! This window’s glazing does not qualify, and must be replaced.
That’s how some of us go through life. We may go through emotional trauma, but because there’s no physical injury, we paint over our pain with an outward show of strength and resilience. Inside, we’re falling apart. We don’t want to appear weak and unstable, so we put up a good front. We slap some paint on it, and off we go!
There comes a point, though, when paint won’t hold us together anymore. No matter how many layers we plaster on, we start to fall apart from the inside out. But this is good! We won’t seek healing if we can’t admit that we’re broken.
The first step to reglazing a window pane is to remove the old cracked glazing. Sometimes it just falls out, sometimes you can pick it out with your fingers, and sometimes it has to be pried out with a stiff putty knife.
If a putty knife is needed, you look for a crack to work the putty knife into. Here’s a good spot to start:
Once a good chunk is dug out, the rest follows suit relatively easily.
Sometimes this is the part of healing we dread most — the moment the dam breaks, and all of our hurt and pain comes pouring out. We fear rejection from anyone who unwittingly witnesses our moment of weakness. But there is One who sees us and knows us, and will never turn away from us. We are promised, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT)
We can go to God with our pain and heartache, and know that He is not surprised with the depth of our sorrow! “The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.” (Psalm 33:13-15) He understands why we try to hide our hurts, but He doesn’t want us to remain broken behind our painted masks. He wants to bring healing and wholeness to our hearts. That process may involve some emotional prying and scraping, neither one of which is pleasant!
Once I got all of the old glazing out from this window, there was still yuck to contend with. All of that black nastiness needed to be treated. I didn’t want to cover that with a pane of glass and fresh glazing, leaving it to spread into the inside of the window!
And so it goes with us. There are layers to our pain that God needs to get rid of in order to bring healing. Each layer may require a different treatment, each with its own level of discomfort. Life’s pain and suffering can bring on the rot of resentment and bitterness. Why would we want to walk around with those chains weighing us down? The problem is that if we wait too long to seek healing from God, the rot becomes so seeped in our souls that we don’t even realize it’s become a part of us. We can’t just cut it out, because we can’t even see it! But know that God sees it clearly.
Glazing a window takes a few hours, but God’s healing may be either instant or gradual over time. Your recovery won’t be exactly like anyone else’s, but the sooner you give Him permission to clean out the darkest corners of your life, the sooner you’ll experience the abundant life He promises.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10)
We must allow God access to the deepest, most secret areas in our heart, and allow Him to remove the rot. It hurts, but there’s healing to be found if only we will let Him!
Do you have wounds that you’ve been nursing for so long that you’ve become accustomed to their company? Would you like to be free of the pain, resentment and bitterness? Bring them to God. Allow Him access to clean out the rot and bring wholeness and joy to your heart.
“Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.” (Psalm 34:5)