We have this new kitchen. It’s sparkly and new and shiny. Really shiny. Leaving aside my rather large guilt complex about even having a new kitchen I’m learning lots from the experience. Right now it’s looking as good as it ever will do. The only way is downhill from here. As soon as it was finished on Sunday we stood in it and marvelled at the prettiness of it all. From now on in it’s set to decay. I have already washed food splash marks off the tiles and swept the floor. Use everyday will mean I miss bits and it will never be as clean as it was on Sunday again. It’s a funny thing to buy lots of shiny new stuff and realise it won’t get better. I guess it’s like that with everything new. Even now when I buy new clothes or shoes (a rare event..) I want to savour the newness, to not wear them for a while, to enjoy the perfection. My heart craves perfection and things looking just so, everything in the right place. I don’t think I’m alone. I think it’s because the whole of this decaying broken world is craving perfection. Maybe because we were made for a better world than this. Maybe.
There is a flip side to this though. As I returned from my run tonight I gazed into our kitchen window and saw a blank canvas. Sure, it looks like a pretty show kitchen right now, but that shiny, almost soulless, perfection isn’t really what I long for above all else. It needs our photos of friends and family back on the wall. It needs our calendar pinned up and the quotes that remind me of reality each morning back in places my eyes brush over.
It’s a kitchen that will see our boys grow over time. I long for chats over tea and cake, for boys sitting on counters whilst we cook for years to come. I long for friends and family to bump into us here, to be fed and nourished from the oven and fridge and our lives. I long for the imperfections to come because they mean we have lived, loved, laughed and wept in it. I long for the Spirit to fill it with wonder, reality and hope and I long for more depth than shiny surfaces could ever bring.
There you go. There’s lots you can learn from new kitchens apparently. And yes, the kettle is on, do come on over for a chat.