Piles on Piles

by - January 20, 2015

I've been working my way through the house attempting to put it back on its feet after several years of toddlerdom and a lifelong habit of saving every little thing. There's a front room in the house that has amazing potential yet it often finds itself in the cross hairs of multiple hobbies, a litter box and hoards of preschool projects. It is the first room people see when they walk in the door and it currently looks like it is vomiting out the manifestation of my internal chaos.

You see, I begin piles as temporary solutions, and yet they almost always grow to be permanent problems. 

These piles are the castoffs that may have future value, that once were important, that were a whim, and things I would simply feel irresponsible for throwing away. 

And this is the result. 

What should be a functional space has become a hazard. As I pulled out a stack of papers and photographs, my son's ceramic hand prints came tumbling to the floor where they shattered on the corner of a picture frame. The messes prop up the messes until they all come crashing down. 

Isn't this the nature of the internal life as well? We push aside what we don't want to face or deal with at the present only to find years down the road that our entire emotional well-being is constructed as a child's building block tower in which the blocks were not laid parallel or on square. 

My dear friend said today, "It always gets worse before it gets better." 

She is absolutely right. These shelves and their contents have to be pulled out, wiped down, sorted through and evaluated for use. I once told a friend-counselor-in-training that I would essentially take my internal messes to the grave, wherein Jesus would make all things right anyhow. But the problem is, other people, as they live in my physical home, also dwell within my internal spaces. My messes spill out into their paths; perhaps they themselves have been slid into one of my piles. 

A life of love is one that doesn't hide away the messes but faces them head on, one stack at a time. 

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