Thursday, May 14, 2009

Republished - The White Floor

(An ode I wrote to my white tile kitchen floor)
White floor, O white floor,

Why does thou mock me?
White floor, O white floor,
How many times shall I mop thee?
White floor, O white floor,
What more shall I write?
White floor, O white floor,
Why must thy be white?

I love our house and wouldn’t change very much about it, but it does have an annoying flaw – a white tile kitchen floor! We’ve only lived here a couple years, so I really don’t know who thought that was a good idea, but obviously not someone with kids or dogs!

I am a neat freak at heart. There are not a whole lot of things better than a clean house to me! When I am not especially
Spirit-filled my mood is proportional to how clean my house is, the cleaner my house the better my mood! And the messier my house, well, let’s just say I need a lot of the Holy Spirit to even remotely resemble a person you’d want to be around!

So, this white floor is really my nemesis. I mop it and the next day it looks filthy again. A dog walks through with muddy feet, a child helps make coffee and spills some of the grounds, my husband mows the lawn and comes in with little bits of grass falling off his pants. So, the battle begins – I mop, they mess, and the floor reveals every speck! I would be much happier not knowing how dirty my floor is!

Does anyone know if you can paint tile floor?

Our old house had terracotta tile. A wonderful brownish-peachish-pinkish color-varied tile that hid dirt like nobody’s business! It was awesome! I could go weeks without mopping and it looked great! You wouldn’t even have known its filth, unless you made the mistake of walking across it bare-foot!

I have been thinking over this new house white floor problem a lot this January as my husband and I have been evaluating our life – what works, what doesn’t, what we need to do to be better people, better servants for God. A lot of that revolves around how we spend our time, so I’ve been thinking about the things that take up my time but don’t really seem to produce much fruit. And I’ve often thought, “What a waste of time it is mopping this floor every day!” but my other choice is to let it be dirty and that wears on my mood as it then seems like my whole house is filthy!

But after spending a lot of time studying 1st and 2nd Kings in a Bible study, God revealed something awesome to me about my white floor. If you’ve spent much time in Kings you know there is a whole lot of repetition. Over and over you read, “Then so and so became King, and reigned such and such years, he did evil in the sight of the Lord; he was murdered; his son became king in his place.” Again and again you read the same story about the people turning away from God, worshipping idols, etc. and then after getting defeated in battle or plagued by locusts they cry out to God and he delivers them and then 2 verses later, again they are walking their own way, sinning against God. I just think it is amazing how God continued to deliver these people and they continued turning away from him. How he must have tired of cleaning up their messes only to have them do it again!

But that is just like me! How many times do I mess up and God wipes it clean! In fact he promises us a new slate every day, a beautifully mopped white floor, no matter how many times we walked across it in muddy shoes the day before! Isaiah 1:18 says, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; . . .”

So, now, as I mop my white floor I think of God wiping away my sins, allowing me a fresh clean start day after day. Maybe we won’t paint that tile after all!

In the early days of my relationship with that white floor, before God offered the sins wiped clean analogy, I used to catch myself often saying, “I hate this white floor!” But really it is not the white floor that I hate, afterall white is my favorite color. What I really hate is the dirt that messes up the white floor, the muddy footprints, the tiny bits of dried playdough, the small round drops of strawberry yogurt dripped from the wobbly hands of a preschooler clearing their place at the table.

Don‘t you think God feels the same way about the sin that messes us up? The sin is what is ugly to him, not the person under the sin. This Tuesday and every day, I am grateful that God is a God of fresh starts and clean slates and that someday when I go home to be with Him, my floor will always be white!

This post was originally published on February 2, 2009


  1. Actually, something tells me there IS a treatment for tile that can change the color. I think you could contact a tile person to have it done. I have white biq square tiles in on my kitchen counter with gray grout. I PICKED THIS OUT 20 years ago. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

  2. Great post! And that's a great way to think of it.

    Would you believe I have white berber rugs throughout my entire house?? Well, they used to be white somewhere in the distant past! I can name every stain's origin. Until I "get me a carpet shampooer"...I'll try to remember this!

  3. Beautiful analogy. With that said I will tell you when we bought our house which was built in the early 70's it had the ugliest brown kitchen tile you can imagine. I could not wait to get rid of that floor. It took six years. When my husband replaced it last year it took less than one day for me to realize how much dirt it hid! Ugly as it was, I miss the fact that if needed I could go a very long time between sweeping and mopping and no one could even tell. LOL


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