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We Wait Too Long to Remove the Stain

We’ve just undertaken a family reunion. Lots of people under one roof. Love and laughter, family and food. We all take turns taking care of errands. I am the coffee guru.

I have my trusted French press, and I press away. Add coffee and hot water. Watch the coffee and hot water mingle together till that magical drink of the gods is produced. I love the whole thing, the alchemical way that the crema rises to the top. I press down carefully till the coffee rises to the top. It’s a ritual I repeat over and over again. I have it down to an art form.

This time around, though, the coffee was ground a bit too fine, more espresso-grind than French press grind. So it splattered outside the French press, and all across me. It got on my favorite shirt. All. Over. It. On my shoulders, chest, stomach. It was a mess.

I love this shirt. It’s comfortable, stylish, and easy to wear. I sat there, looking with sadness at my favorite shirt with coffee all over it. My mom said, “Take it off and let’s wash it.” I took it off, and put some stain remover on it. I took it to the laundry room, and came back to finish the coffee.

Over the next few hours, I went by the laundry room. Each time I meant to wash it, but there was always something else to do. So the shirt, my favorite shirt, just sat there. I really did mean to wash it, but it was two days before I actually got to wash the shirt. When the shirt came out of the machine, there was my shirt — and there was the stain. Washed, but not removed.

I had waited too long to remove the stain. The stain had set in. Oh my favorite shirt.

That’s when it came to me: our hearts are like this too.

Sometimes we get a stain on our hearts. An injury, an insult. A sadness, an anger. A frustration, a resentment. We could wash it away right then and there, with some kindness.

But we wait.

We postpone the washing, the cleansing, the forgiving. We move on to some other task, a new guest, a new emotion. The “stain” of that negative emotion sets in our hearts.

If something as simple as coffee can set in a shirt, how much more can anger and resentment set in our luminous hearts? Our hearts are the seat of the spirit, meant to hold God and naught but God.

Instead we stain our heart. We stain the hearts of others. We fail to remove the stain. We wait too long to remove the stain.

My Beloved…
Let’s make a vow
you and I.
If ever a stain of resentment
Should set in
either of our hearts
We’ll wash it
Right away
With kindness.

We will rush to forgiveness
To kindness
to the heartwashing.

Let’s live
You and I
As Rumi says:

“We’ve got nothing to do,
except for love.

Let’s make a vow
you and I:

Let’s plant no seeds
in this pure soil
except for love
and more love.”

My Beloved,
let us plant seeds of love
you and I.

Le us wash every heart stain
with loveglances
with kindness
Till our heart shines again
You and I.

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