Blanket of Protection

A few weeks ago,
Joy  mentioned that we need to throw away the rug in front of our fireplace.
It is important to note here that, she didn’t say that she wanted us to “replace” it.
Her words were, “Mom, we need to get rid of that rug.” And yes, it is scarred. It has been in front of our fireplace for about three years.
It has pockmarks. It is seared. It shows wounds from its place in our home.

Little did I know, when I recently bought my sweet Smudger a snuggling blanket for “his” chair in front of the fireplace, that it would do more than make his winter extra snuggly. Knowing the fabric and cotton stuffing in this chair, his blanket may have actually protected our house from a fire. Those chairs have adorned our fireplace for five and a half year winters and never before has an ember landed on them … until now. 

Our fireplace has a very effective blower. We use the fireplace to heat most of our home. Our heater rarely has the need to turn on which is wonderful for our gas and electric bills. To allow the most heat possible into the house, we leave open the doors and screen on the fireplace.  If we are not in the room or leave home, we put up a screen … but, for the better  part of our days, the screen is removed.

Every once in a while, a damp piece of wood pops and spits when it begins to warm. This, of course, means that, on occasion, we have a sprinkling of embers on the hearth and the even on the floor. Since Joy’s comment,
I’ve thought a lot about how
we are quick to throw away something
because it doesn’t look “pretty” any more
even when it is still functional.
We are quick to wonder what others will think
about our clothes,
our home,
our electronics,
our vehicle,
our body.
Being a very visual person,
this is probably one of my greatest struggles.
Like Jesus spoke in parables, paralleling the spiritual and physical worlds, God convicts and teaches me through similar daily events.

And I’ve also thought about
how Christ is like my hearth rug.
The thoughts are hard to write,
because I don’t understand them
but, the Word says that He was born
for the purpose of saving us.
He was born to bear our stripes.
He was born to take our sin.
I shake my head ….
and don’t understand.
Incense and sacrifice and sin.
The shedding of blood for forgiveness.
These are things I accept on faith
but I just don’t understand.
I cling to the saying,
“If my God was small enough for me to understand,
He wouldn’t be BIG enough to be worshiped.”A hot ember melting its way into the carpet that protects the floor in front of my fireplace.

But, I CAN see the pictures.
I CAN hear the parables.

This rug protects my beautiful hardwood floor.
Underneath the barrier there is no scar … wound … burn.
The wood floor is as old as our home of 48 years
and doesn’t show a blemish.
That snugly green blanket of my kit-cat’s
was put there just in time to catch an ember.
It protected something that I wasn’t even aware
NEEDED protecting.
It was a shield … a guard for the chair.

And so I am reminded that
protection isn’t always recognized as such
and a guard’s job is often dirty and leaves him scarred.

Surely we are all protected from time to time
by something that we didn’t even realize was a barrier
between us and harm’s way.


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