Our front door is a mess.
It’s a white door with glass insets, trimmed with frosted scroll work around the edges. It would be quite lovely…were it not for the bubbled rust marring the bottom corner.
When the first signs of moisture damage popped up, I wasn’t too worried. After all, it was only a little rust. We live in the south. Humidity is our bread and butter. However, after a few weeks I noticed the spots of orange spreading and taking away from the beauty of our front porch. What to do? A slap of white paint covered up the orange spots but did little for the raggedy texture marring its surface. It looked good from the road, and that was all that mattered to me.
The problem was, over the next year, the paint couldn’t keep the rust away. The pretty finish would wear thin with time and weather. The ugliness of what I’d tried to hide would emerge yet again, brighter than ever. Each time the rust grew too thick to ignore, I slapped more paint over the top, praying it would cover up the mess a little longer.
Contrary to popular belief, time does not heal all wounds. To ignore a severe infection would lead to disaster. In the same way, pretending our broken places don’t need healing just allows the hurt to fester. When we hide the past abuse, anger, bitterness, resentment, abandonment, or whatever our wound is, the poison grows, affecting every area of our lives. It takes courage, and a bit of work, to expose the mess for what it is and let God wipe it clean.
This week, instead of applying yet another coat of paint, I’ll be sanding the rust from my front door. It’s not enough for it to look clean. I want to make sure the rust is gone completely.
I’ve learned my lesson with painting rust. Cover-up paint is a poor substitute for courage.