I’m from a small town, full of small-town people. I’m sure you know the type. Everyone knows everyone else. Not only do they know everyone else, but they know their business too. I swear, I can walk into most places in my town and people can tell me more about my life than I even know myself! All of it, the good, the bad and the ugly. Everyone knows everyone else and everything about everyone else.
And let me tell you about the bad times…when something bad happens to someone, just like everything else, it gets talked about for a while. But no healing happens. Before healing can happen, or before people jump in to help, the dirt of the bad just gets swept under the town rug. Even when it’s an issue that needs to be dealt with, it just gets swept. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my own fair share of sweeping. It’s hard to face hard things. I know that. How does healing come from sweeping? What if we could learn to face the dirt?
Sweeping it Under the Rug
To sweep something under the rug is to hide, ignore or deny it. It’s to keep it from public view or knowledge. What do we sweep under the rug? So many things. Hurt, hate, embarrassment, scars, past actions, etc. What do you sweep under the rug?
I have come to the realization that most of what people sweep under the rug are those things they wish would just go away. The dirt we just don’t want to face. The hurt we wish would have never happened in the first place. It seems so much easier to just hide it away, just sweep it away. But again, how does healing come from sweeping? What if we go ahead and face these things? What if, instead of sweeping the dirt under the rug, we clean that rug?
That thing you are trying to hide, it’s not really hidden anyways. Mark 4:22 tells us everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open. Every secret will be brought to light. Instead of sweeping things under the rug, what if we learned to face them? What if we turn the light on so we can see the dirt? Let’s rip that band aid off. Healing is less painful than hiding. Don’t sweep it under the rug! Clean that rug!
Clean the Rug
So how do we clean the rug? Master Clean Carpet and Tile Cleaning of Tulsa, LLC has an awesome 3-step cleaning process. This process cleans the rug (and carpets in your home) much better than you could do so on your own.
First, there’s a pre-spray that goes down onto the rug. This pre-spray loosens up all the dirt and grime in your carpets. It shakes up the dirt.
Then, we steam clean and deodorize the rug. We blast a 250-degree steam into your carpets that cleans all the dirt and grime away while rinsing the carpets clean and leaving them smelling fresh. At the same time the steam is cleaning the carpets, our powerful vacuum hoses are sucking all the dirt completely out of your house and into our van, leaving your rug (or carpets) like new!
Finally, we leave the rug and carpets to dry. The drying time varies depending on the rug or carpet, but leaving fans on to encourage air flow can speed up the drying time.
But what does the Master Clean Carpet and Tile Cleaning process have to do with the emotional dirt in your life? The same process can apply to help clean and heal you!
The first step is the pre-spray. The pre-spray loosens all the dirt and grime to get the rug ready for the deep cleaning. God gives us the freedom to move on. He gives us the freedom to move past pain and persecution. We can only be responsible for so much, then we must shake the dirt from our feet and move on.
Jesus gives specific instructions to his disciples as he sends them out to preach his word. He prepares them for the rejections they will most certainly face from what I like to call, “small-town people”.
In Matthew 10:14, Jesus says, “And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.” Mark 6:11 records Jesus saying, “And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” Luke 9:5 shows Jesus telling his disciples, “And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”
Basically, Jesus is telling his disciples to show those small-town people that are rejecting them and hating them that the disciples will have no more to do with them. They won’t even keep the small-town’s dirt on their sandals. The disciples aren’t supposed to just sweep that dirt under their rugs. They are supposed to face it by shaking it off their feet and getting rid of it.
Shake the Dirt from Your Feet
In Acts chapter 13, we see Jesus’s instructions put into action through Paul and Barnabas. Paul and Barnabas had been doing what they were called to do. They were out in the world, traveling and spreading the good news about Jesus. They were preaching at Antioch in Pisidia when faced with some rejection from some small-town people.
Some of those small-town people were actually jealous of the disciples. So, the leaders started stirring up persecution against Paul and Barnabas. The small-town crowd ended up literally running Paul and Barnabas out of the town.
I imagine Paul and Barnabas had some hurt feelings, they probably felt like screaming and cussing those small-town folks. It would be hard for me to not react emotionally if I was being run out of town. I would definitely have had some hurt feelings.
But did Paul and Barnabas get down and out? No. Did they sweep that dirt under their rugs? No. They shook off the dust from their feet against those small-towners and moved on to the next place to continue their mission.
This expression of shaking the dirt off your feet is like the old expression “wash your hands of it. Simply put, be done with the situation. Don’t just sweep it under the rug. Be done with it. Loosen up the dirt and grime with some pre-spray, shake the dirt off your feet, and then clean the rug.
Watch out for Part 2 of our blog when we dive further into the cleaning process!
Written by: Jessalyn Price