Filtering Life

In today’s world one of the first words I learned is filter. It seems everything must be filtered. From the mechanical, the electronic, to the food we ingest, everything must be filtered.

There are masks to filter the air we breathe….while painting, working in factories, or where the air is contaminated. On the car there must be gas and oil filters for it to run at its maximum rate. There are filters that must be changed every three months to take the dirt out of the air that our furnace and air conditioners spew out to make us comfortable. A pile of filters are used in a lifetime to protect the coffee drinker from the ‘grounds’. There are filters to wear to protect those who are inflicted with allergies. There are masks to wear in the hospital to protect the patient from the air-borne infections that ride legion in the operating room.

Was it always so? I remember when I learned that there are particles breathed in of some unpleasant odors. Yuck, I thought. I learned that it isn’t always possible to hold your breath through the duration of that unpleasant experience. Especially with little ones in the house.

In the ‘old’ days, of the 30’s and 40’s there was a piece of cloth that fit over the gallon glass jar, that was used to strain the milk fresh from the milk can. The cloth filtered out bits of dirt and unwanted materials that drifted into the milk bucket. This cloth was used morning and night. We had a small pan in which it was boiled after being rinsed – to ready it for the next milking. When I visited my cousin on the farm, I was astonished to see a milk separator. What? How does the cream know which spigot to go to. I soon learned that it was easier to simply skim off the cream in the gallon glass jar. I still use the spoon I used as a child to skim the golden cream from the top of the jar of whole milk.

Mother used a cone-shaped perforated aluminium utensil that stood on three legs to filter applesauce from cooked apples. It was so much fun to watch the apple sauce minus the skin and seeds ooze through the holes. Another filtering experience that separated the skin and the seeds from the goodness of the apple.

As we begin life, our filter is our own needs. The basics of food, shelter and comfort. If that is given in a sterile environment, there is a void in life. But when the needs are given in an environment of caring, loving and gentleness, that life has a different filter to make decisions and see life around him. Compassion and forgiveness creates a mist of joy in the lives around the individual who sees life through a Jesus-Filter.

At times we live in a haze of pain, sadness or despair. These times color our life with hues of dark purple and a grayness that dims the joy and gladness.

That is the way life is, we filter truth from lies, good from the bad, kindness from ugly behavior, forgiveness from bitterness, love from jealousy.

When we lived on a farm near Howard, Kansas, our drinking water came from a well. The day my dear husband found a dead mouse in the well, our thirst could no longer be quenched from the water in the well, for we knew it could make us and our three little boys ills. My husband poured a bottle of Clorox in the well to purify the water, so it would be potable.

Sometimes our filter of belief must be purified and changed in order for us to live. Our eyes and our ears take in all kinds of information and in our heart and what we believe filters that information. When we build our hopes and dreams on the solid rock – Jesus Christ, He becomes our filter in life.

Is this why God created seasons – to let us know that change is inevitable? A week ago, the full moon made its appearance in the East. It cast a warm light that filtered the dark night. When clouds passed over the bright moon, The moon seemed to be playing peek-a-boo with me. The filter of different degrees of light made what I could see about me in different modes of light.

Each morning our day is filtered with sunlight, or various degrees of light. The green leaves of the trees shimmer in the breeze. Birds sing their sweet songs of joy. One early morning I peered through the window and saw my usual world through a filter of a breathtaking golden glow that reminded me of Gold Streets and Pearly Gates. It gave me a glimpse of what Heaven will be.

Through our eyes and our ears we take in the things of the world, and only when we have a worthy filter, can we protect our hearts. Proverbs 23:7 – For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

When we live in harmony with Jesus, our world and our relationships are lived through the Jesus-Filter of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control. Through the filter – Jesus – we know our Heavenly Father, and experience an eternity of unconditional love.

Last Sunday evening we were captured by a misty filter, the color of a brilliant sunset. The world took on a different hue that draws one to another world.

As a dear friend of mine said, I try to live everyday remembering that I am not of this world!”

(Thank you, Mary!)

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