Trigger Warning! I refer to a picture of Jesus as” Jesus”. I mean no disrespect to any faith. This is not a religious post.
As long as I remember, my parents had a gilt-framed portrait of Jesus hanging in their bedroom. He came with them from Ohio to California in retirement, and moved with them to two different Assisted Living residences.
When they died, I inherited Jesus.
But this is not about faith, or religion or even about Jesus. It is about the crossroads we face with the clutter in our own lives and the clutter we inherit.
Now – how can I refer to Jesus as “clutter”? I’m not. It really is the picture of Jesus, but in our family, we came to call the picture…Jesus. It has been comforting, really. It reminds me of the faith of my parents, the faith in which they raised me, and the faith and spirituality I passed along to my children.
But back to clutter. I read an article about clutter this morning. It was very clear that clutter in our homes can lead to clutter and disorganization in our minds as well. One point was that, if we leave clutter behind, then we are leaving it for our children to handle.
This happened to me, which brings me back to Jesus. I inherited Jesus and a lot of other memorabilia, art, keepsakes, photographs, and documents. There was a ton of stuff to go through. My siblings live out of state, so they didn’t take much except valuables. And I get that! It’s difficult and expensive to ship a box of stuff to sift through across the country. They told me to simply throw things away.
In my own home, I actually ENJOY purging the junk closet from time to time. I am itching to get into my daughter’s room and toss a lot of old stuff, but since we just left her at college for the first year, I think there is a designated wait time before a parent goes nuts and eliminates cherished concert stubs and junky Happy Meal prizes.
But tossing out all the old photos, and Jesus? This was hard. I cried going through the boxes of old family photos. I couldn’t throw out Jesus, either. Neither of my siblings wanted the picture. So what was I to do with Jesus? I considered giving it to a church or parochial school, and I may still do that. But for now, Jesus is in our garage where we have kept a lot of different artwork, sports gear, sports banners and sports trophies that we cannot part with just yet. He looks happy there. When I park my car, he is there to greet me when I get out and go about my day, and he there just before I leave.
That seems fitting.
What are you holding onto? What “stuff” will you leave behind for your children to sift through?