Friday, July 12, 2013

The Corn Kernel Parable

The other day when we were expecting guests I gathered all my cleaning supplies and headed to the guest room.  The first thing I noticed was a kernel of corn on the tile floor. Gross, who would eat corn on the cob in here? But because in my cleaning world, the floors are always last, I light a scented candle, open the window, strip and remake the beds, scour the bathroom tile, cleaning the shower door, shine the faucets, spray and wipe down the mirrors, dust the furniture, shake out the rug and vacuum it, put out fresh towels, blow out the candle, close the window and stop to admire my work. The room looks great.

Except there is a kernel of corn on the floor.

And suddenly the kernel of corn isn’t gross. It’s a reminder that I missed something important—mopping the floor. And maybe mopping the floor isn’t that important in the giant scheme of things. But a clean guest room, to me, says you’re important to me, I want you to feel warm and comfortable here, because I value your friendship, I have picked mopped the floor.

A lone, dirty corn kernel on the guest bedroom floor says someone wasn’t chewing with their mouth closed when they were eating corn on the cob.

I think that if I hadn’t noticed the corn kernel, my guests would have. And all the vacuuming, scouring, and dusting would have gone unnoticed—completely over shadowed by the lone corn kernel. 

It’s important to remember that sometimes even something gross can be exactly what we need. 

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