10
Mar
10

Queen of Putrescence

The Princess Bride is definitely one of my favorite flicks. Funnily enough (thank you Christine, I totally agree it’s a word), it’s not just a favorite among chicks and my husband and several of my best male buddies like it as much as I do. Whether or not they would admit that in public…meh…different story. C’est la vie…

One of my favorite scenes is Buttercup’s nightmare when she envisions being “booed” by a village hag. It’s not my favorite because it’s a dream sequence – i usually hate that. It’s not my favorite because Buttercup is getting booed. It’s not my favorite because of the old hag…even though she is awesome. It’s my favorite because of the words the hag uses to insult Buttercup. Awesome words…like “refuse” not reFUSE (like my son reFUSES to eat mushrooms), REfuse. Made more impressive by her british accent. And…putrescence. Just a fabulous word. Rolls right off the tongue. Again – more impressive if you are fresh off a flight from Yorkshire. Try it. … I’ll wait. … Awesome – right?

I think I should verify that I looked up the definition. Not because I didn’t know its meaning (I mean, context is king, right?), but because I have been guilty MORE THAN ONCE of adding a 50-cent word to a sentence…only to owe change to the conversation. Putrescence defined: the state of being rotten, putrid.

That got me started thinking about the condition of my heart. And it isn’t pretty. I mean, there are parts that have been cleaned up. Parts that look a little bit like hope and joy and peace and forgiveness. And then there is the rest of it.  So much of what is harbored in the recesses of my heart is rotten…putrid. The hate, anger, fear, self-doubt….all of it rotten. Envy, greed, gluttony, disdain, cowardice…all of it putrid. Proverbs 4:23 says: Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. If I am honest, I don’t GUARD my heart at all…I feed it. I seem to spend more time cultivating and feeding those parts of my heart than I do the good ones. I cuddle the anger like a lost child…nurturing it, reassuring it that it is justified, righteous. I reward my work with gluttony and grow the greed for fame, recognition as deserved offspring of that same hard work. I have disdain for those with whom I disagree. And don’t even get me started on the fear-self-doubt road I walk every time I look in the mirror.

Do you smell something? Yeah, me too. Yuck.

I don’t want to walk around this world spreading the smelly putrescence that is in my heart. I don’t want to be “that” girl…the one that brings down the room, that wet-towels everyone else. I never used to be, and now, I am finding it hard some days, to be the joy-grace-peace spreading chick I was not so long ago. Who can I blame? Yeah – that’s right – me. The Queen of Putrescence.  I have got to start GUARDING my heart – getting out that big ol’ giant can of Lysol (you remember the one – yep – every Kindergarten had one for the pukers) and clean up the stench instead of feeding it. But I can’t do that alone.

I have found that the only way i can actually start to REMOVE the nastiest, most putrid corners of my heart is the love of Jesus and intervention and grace of God. I don’t have enough strength, joy, compassion or even love on my own to muck out these stalls. Time and time again, when I turn the worst things over to him, laying them at his feet saying, “I am at the end, YOU deal with this junk”, he shows faithful. The putrescence is smaller and less important. I don’t need to cuddle the rottenness anymore.

Not today anyway.

We will see how things smell tomorrow.

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1 Response to “Queen of Putrescence”


  1. 1 colette
    March 10, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Way to go Sis. Thanks for reminding me after a couple of days of focusing on my own yuck of the grace and hope I really have been given and need to share. I know I will be in that dark pit again but at least for a moment the smell won’t be covered up( even febreeze can’t fix that) because I can remember the reality.


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