Photo: Dave Wilcock
A seemingly monumental task stood before me. I had dreaded it for months. But today was the day. I had to tackle cleaning our barbecue smoker/grill so I could put it up for sale. I knew it would be worth more clean than dirty.
It had taken my sister-in-law three hours to clean her grill, so I expected to invest at least that much time into the effort.
I gathered the tools I thought I’d need and set to work. My husband, who had cleaned the contraption the previous time, suggested I wear an apron and gloves. “I don’t think I’ll get that dirty,” I responded but then complied. (Later, I had to admit he was right … again. The apron and gloves saved me from getting any messier than I did.)
The beginning of the job wasn’t too difficult: brushing off dust and emptying ashes out of the smoker portion of the unit. But after that, it got more complicated.
Sticky soot clung to the grates and the bottom of the cooking barrel from months of use. How would I get rid of that? I found another brush and started scrubbing away, layer by layer, piece by piece, minute by minute, hour by hour until I could see the steel that had been concealed.
As I cleaned, my mind wandered. I realized that just as I had seen value in that smoker, that’s how God sees each of us: valuable. Yet sometimes our worth is hidden beneath caked-on dirt and soot. And God ever so patiently chips away at it, layer by layer, piece by piece, making us clean and shiny. It’s a lengthy process that doesn’t happen overnight. And sometimes it’s painful. But in the end, it’s well worth it.
It took me four hours to complete the smoker/grill-cleaning job. But at the end of that time, I had a valuable unit worthy of selling/buying.
You, my friend, are a work in progress. A masterpiece. And you are priceless. Don’t ever forget that.
Christian, wife, mother of 5, breast cancer survivor, marathon finisher, writer and editor, author of "Help! I'm a Science Project"