Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Stain Removal

And no, this isn't a post about what your kids are tracking in or what your puppy left for you on the carpet.
This is a church story.

We have old carpet stains at our church. The church provides sodas for people to drink, and sometimes the soda cans, full of sticky sugar, get knocked over .. and splash!!! ... stains happen.
Unfortunately, we ladies of the church have neglected the stains for many months now. Quite a few stains grace the floor in the fellowship hall, but a good-sized one with a lovely spray pattern lies in the hallway, and a round one about the side of my hand sits in the middle of the aisle in the sanctuary.

The stains were mentioned to me again recently. Nobody, really, is "in charge" of cleaning, exactly. Adam rented a big machine carpet cleaner last year, but it didn't touch the soda stains.

How long does it take to make a stain? Two seconds? Carelessness, silliness, hastiness.

How long does it take to remove such a stain?
Some of us ladies meet at the church sanctuary each Monday morning for a simple hour of prayer. Afterward I stayed around. I'd brought my stain removal aids. I'd decided to attack the sanctuary stain. The church was vacant, quiet. I assembled my spray cleaner, brush, paper towels, rag, and two bowls of water so I wouldn't have to heave myself off the floor each time I wanted to rinse out the foamy rag. In my enthusiasm I always spray too much cleaner on the stain. Then it takes f o r e v e r  to get it all out.

I sat and I scrubbed and I wiped and I dug and I wiped and I rinsed and repeated.

I spent a half hour on the sanctuary stain and a half hour on the hallway stain with the lovely spray pattern. I remember when that stain happened. We used to practice handbell chimes in the hallway, a couple of years ago. One of the teenagers, I forget which one, knocked over a soda -- probably a clear one, at that -- and we all said, "oops!!" and patted it with paper towels and felt better about it.

And forgot about it.

But stains have a way of coming back over time. The sugar is sticky and attracts dirt, and we walk on it, and eventually the stain darkens. It seems to worsen with time. Stains never, ever clean themselves. Eventually somebody has to come with cleaning supplies, sit on the floor for an hour, and apply some elbow grease.

How appropriate that this happened in church. Stains happen, even in church.

When I left, both stains were still wet, and neither was free of bubbles. I could have scrubbed and wiped another hour.
"Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain.
He washed it white as snow."


  1. That's a great metaphor. And it us true about those stains. Well done for giving them a go. X

  2. Maybe you should give the thirsty people water to drink. : )

  3. Happyone took the words right out of my mouth. Good ol' tap water can't be beat for health, and clean floors.

  4. well, all I can say is, you deserve an extra jewel in your crown . . .


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