Friday, February 06, 2009

Walking Pork Butts


Welcome to Fiction Friday! Today Sherry is our host at A Candid Thought. Be sure to join us there for links to more fun fiction! And if you're posting fiction with us, don't forget to add your link to Mr. Linky at the end of Sherry's post. See ya there!
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“It's not fair! You get to do everything and I can't even go to the movies.” Jenna flopped onto her unmade bed.

“I'm also two years older than you.” Kayleigh leaned against the door jamb, surveying the mess.

“Yeah, but you went to the movies all the time when you were my age.”

“Yeah, and my room didn't ever look like this, either.”

“I don't see what the big deal is,” Jenna whined as she looked around. “I'm not a neat-freak like you are. Who cares?”

“It's not about being a neat-freak; and obviously Mom and Dad care, otherwise you'd be at the movies now and not here, whining.”

Jenna glared at her sister. “I'm not whining.”

Kayleigh flipped long hair over her shoulder. “Whatever.” She tip-toed to the clothes hamper near the closet and peered into it. “There's dirty clothes all over the floor and none in here. Wouldn't it be just as easy to toss 'em in the hamper as it is to drop 'em on the floor? That's not being a neat-freak; that's being a short cut freak.”

Jenna scooped up a handful of clothes and pitched them toward the empty hamper. “There's no such thing,” she muttered as all but one thing fell short of its mark.

“Sure there is. You're the queen of short cuts, so you ought to know.” Kayleigh picked her way back to the door, cringing when she stepped on things.

“Short cuts, pork butts. I can have this done in nothing flat and still make it to the movies,” Jenna declared, rising from her bed.

Kayleigh snickered as she stepped into the hall, almost running into her mom who rolled her eyes and shook her head at Jenna before padding off to the kitchen.

A little later Jenna trotted into the kitchen, smiling. “My room's clean. Can I go now?”

Her mom frowned as she looked up from the cookbook. “At the beginning of the week we told you that you could go if you kept your room neat...”

“Yes! Thanks, Mom.”

“Not so fast, Jenna. Your room's been a mess all week; in fact, it was completely trashed out just 15 minutes ago.”

“But it's clean now,” she sing-songed.

“Well, good. Let's go check it and we'll see if it's done right.”

“But what about the movie?” Jenna asked hopefully.

“You lost your chance at a movie by not keeping your room clean throughout the week. We'll see if you get to do anything else this weekend or not.”

The hopeful smile slipped away as Jenna followed her mother back to her room. When Mom dropped to her knees and reached under the bed Jenna grimaced. Soon there was a mound in the middle of the floor. Next her mom went to the closet and cautiously reached for the door knob while looking at Jenna, her eyebrow raised in question.

“Uh, Mom, why don't I finish and let you know when it's done?”

“You already had a chance to do that. It seems you need some help, so I'll give you a hand,” Mom said pleasantly as she opened the closet door.

Sinking onto the bed Jenna groaned when her carefully constructed pile toppled out. Soon the closet was empty except for the clothes that hung neatly in place, and the bedroom floor was littered with several weeks' worth of hidden mess.

“There. Doesn't that look better?” Mom said as she stood looking at the emptied out closet.

Jenna smiled weakly. “I get the idea, Mom...” Before she could get any further, Mom was trying to open a dresser drawer. It slid open three inches before it jammed from too much being shoved in it and forced closed. Jenna groaned and hid her face in her hands.

“Oh, my,” Mom sighed. “I was afraid of this.” She worked it open, digging her fingers in and pulling things out, dropping them on the floor. Finally she got it open all the way. Jenna spread her fingers apart and peaked out through them.

Jenna's hands fell limply into her lap. With her mouth hanging open, she watched as her mom set aside the folded clothes, then she pulled the drawer out and emptied it over the collection on the floor. Each drawer adding to the colossal mess.

Wiping her hands on her jeans, Jenna's mom looked around. “Well, that about covers it, don't you think?” Her eyebrow was up again as she studied her daughter who sat in a daze on her bed.

“You know, Jenna, our spiritual life can be a lot like this.” Mom waved her hand around, indicating the mess on the floor. “There are two ways to take care of the sin in our lives. One way is like what you've been trying to do with your room—shoving everything out of sight and hoping God won't look. The other is to take care of it correctly by confessing it to God and changing your ways. Some would say they're both short cuts; but I don't.”

Mom leaned her hip against the dresser as she looked at all the things she'd pulled out of hiding. “Shoving things out of sight might seem like a short cut, but it's only a temporary time saver. Just like cleaning your room is now going to take much longer, dealing with sin later will take more time and it will be more painful, too. The confessing and changing might take a little longer at the beginning, but in the long run it's the best way, and it saves you time and energy down the road. That's what good short cuts are: ways to save time and energy in the long run.”

Jenna looked from her mother to her room, a look of understanding settling on her face. Mom started to leave the room, but stopped in the doorway and looked back at Jenna.

“Kayleigh is right, you are the short cut queen, and short cuts are great things, Jenna—when you use the right ones. Otherwise they truly are pork butts—the kind that walk on four feet.”
********


This is an old trick in my family--both the 'cleaning' on the daughter's part and the mother's cure--and I've been on both sides of this story now.

Don't for to join us at Sherry's A Candid Thought.

12 comments:

  1. Heh; Mom always knew when I had a girlfriend, because I'd clean my room. I don't think Mom ever made a spiritual allegory out of it. She just cleaned it her way when we weren't around to protest.

    Granted, that could be a spiritual metaphor all its own. :)

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  2. That was a sweet story. I could see it unfolding before my eyes. :o) I've been on both sides of that story as well.

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  3. Patty, thanks for all the help with Mr Linky. And I really like this story - but you don't even want to see my "office room" right now! sigh.

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  4. LOL! I remember this one. I felt sorry for her, but glad that she did get a lesson out of it. ^_^

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  5. A favorite of mine. I still need to learn this lesson (both ways!!). Loved it!

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  6. I remember my mom doing this to me. Great spiritual lesson taught, as well as a practical one!

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  7. Hoo boy, I can SO relate to this! Very well written.

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  8. I could definitely relate to this from both sides as well! It's funny how things come full circle, isn't it? But beyond the story itself (which was great) I really enjoyed how you related it to an important spiritual truth. Thanks!

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  9. Oh, a fav of mine. Love a well-written fiction piece with a wonderful lesson. You're a master at those.

    BTW, your blog looks so BEAUTIFUL! You have just coordinated everything perfectly.

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  10. This story makes me smile.. and I love your title! :)

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. First of all, I love the title.

    More importantly, I love the message being conveyed. It's so easy to just sweep our wrongdoings under the carpet and pretend they aren't there. However, our sin always finds us out just as this mom found the mess that her daughter tried to hide.

    There is such a freedom when we simply confess our sins and do our best to turn away from evil. Great story!

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