The golden sunrise cut through the curtain-less windows casting a warm glow across the filthy carpet, revealing more than a few dust bunnies that had surrendered to the ceiling fan’s breeze. The carpet was dirty and a sign of the hard times I attempted to survive.
Stepping out of bed was the first of many battles the day would bring; exhausting my efforts from the first moment my bare feet sank deep into the grungy carpet. Several months of darkness had settled into my life since the last time I borrowed a vacuum cleaner.
It had been two years since I had a job that paid the bills generated by a ten-year-old lifestyle based on simple cash flow – A history that might never repeat itself. The lifestyle was grounded on realistic parameters at the time. I had purchased my house at such an economical price that I didn’t worry about hard times reducing my wages by 20 or 30%.
But my foresight was shallow and didn’t see the back-to-back lay-offs that followed a pricey divorce. Nor did I give thought to the possibility that my vacuum cleaner would break down, while I experienced negative cash flow.
That’s not to say that I didn’t see signs of hope in my life. Even this morning I was greeted with a “thank you” email for my having shared several thoughts at a recent get-together. A generous Paypal deposit into my overdrawn account accompanied the note.
With a new form of thankfulness in my heart, I walked down the steps and saw a reminder of my babysitting duties. I’ve been dog and cat sitting for two weeks, while my son and his family travel in Wisconsin for a week of business followed by a week of vacation.
The kitchen and dinning room floors, which hadn’t been touched by a vacuum in months, had torn discarded plastic strewn all about from the night before. The dog had gotten into the bread drawer, pulled out a full loaf and two half loafs of bread, and devoured all trace evidence except for the plastic. Not a single crumb could be found.
I picked up several clumps of dirt along with the plastic and wondered how the solid layer of crud might impact my health or cause visitors to flee. I felt embarrassed by the sight, but knew there was nothing at the time that I could do to improve on the situation.
I longed for enough money to buy a new vacuum cleaner, but would settle on finding a friend willing to loan me their vacuum for a day or two every couple of weeks. I figured it wouldn’t be too bad to share, as my parents pooled lawn mowers, camping equipment and snow blowers with the neighbors as I grew up.
One thing is certain, when I finally get back on my feet, it’ll be on the cleanest carpet in town. I might even find myself vacuuming every day for a few weeks. And, if I ever make it back to my previous lifestyle, I’ll buy a couple extra vacuum cleaners to help out any friends who might be experiencing the same economic strains that I’ve unwillingly encountered.
Our hearts and prayers are with you- all our vacuums went kaput! I used a wet wash clothe on carpeted stairs this morning, so I feel your pain. I have been job hunting all year, still expectant. So I agree for a breakthrough for you SOON. NOW. Lord, have mercy. There’s a song on the radio right now that says We were made to thrive, not just survive (Casting Crowns). So, my prayer is for you to thrive in this next season, not just survive.
God bless and keep you in His care.