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Watch your heart change

Just a thought, if you go to bed with fleas, you’ll have an infestation of fleas by morning.
Once, we had this cat, years ago. She was the mother of all the strays in the neighborhood, something unplanned, but we let her roam, and so she did.

That one morning, my neighbor knocked on the front door holding a box of kittens. He said, “I think these are yours.”
Yes, our little Siamese-wanderer gave birth to a litter in his garage. I was embarrassed by my lack of accountability in the growing population of kitties on the streets.

(We did take her to the vet, a long overdue visit, and he stopped my Siamese from making reckless (my reckless) kitty-strays.)
Well, once inside our garage with her babies, my cat tended to her kittens as my small son petted them. Later, my son of around eight walked up to me in the kitchen. “I have speckled socks.”

I glanced at his white socks. “Speckled socks?” I crouched down, touching the living-breathing-hopping-million fleas on his ankles, shrieking, “Outside. Quick. You have fleas!”
He ran to the backyard, where I stripped him down, and where I considered burning his socks to rid ourselves of the fleas.
Further investigation in the garage revealed the kittens, and the momma-flea cat carried the same dotted-maze. I could almost see the fleas multiplying as I stood there, shaking and scratching.
Now, maybe you have a flea story, one you don’t share because others might judge. After all, fleas are not the things chatted about over coffee.
But there’s another kind of flea we don’t talk about, and I’m referring to fleas-of-the-heart. We get angry at this group or person. Or we worry about how to do something.

Or we muddle into self-pity, wrapping our hearts with a dotted-maze of burdens and bits of leftover things like stuff stuck in boxes in the garage, you know, stuff that should go in the trash.
Bite after bite, the ugliness in our heart can grow into a maze of dots like soot in a chimney after a fire. And we may feel like a stray wandering this earth.
Yes, invisible bites of bitterness will ruin your heart, and reckless care of the heart isn’t ever good for the soul. We must be accountable for our journey, the part we can take hold of.
But what’s the cure? How do you rid yourself of fleas that bite at your joy?
Well, it begins with thinking about the greatness and goodness of God. By looking for the beauty abounding around you. By searching for a way to add a smile to a person’s life, someone who might be consumed by flea-biting situations and worries.

Scripture tells me: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable if there is any excellence if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phillippians 4:8)
So check the garage of your heart, deep down, and clean out the junk. Settle your worries with God. Let Him know what’s biting at you. Share your hopes with your Savior. And watch the fleas fall from your day.
But you must purpose this task. Joy in God is a daily encounter with Jesus where you rely on, rest in, rush to, and remember the beauty for ashes transformation He made in your life.

And then, as you encounter Christ, watch your heart change, and drink a cup of coffee or cocoa, and listen to a friend share his or her heart with you. And offer them socks for the soul. The white kind. Clean and fresh. And new.
Let your confidence in Christ give way to joy as you destroy the fleas which bite at your ankles! Or possibly those that sneak up on you at your front door!

Bowie County Citizens Tribune

139 E.N. Front Street
New Boston, Texas 75570