Do not judge, or you too will be judged.For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)
Where is Edifice Rex when I need her? My cyber friend and handywoman, Annie, is miles away tending to her own home chores, when I could use an extra hand slinging drywall mud. While the kitchen is done, and the floors and baseboards await money to repair, I took a look at the kids’ bathroom and cringed. We have company coming to stay with us at the end of the month and they will be using the upstairs bathroom which is very cruddy. Twenty five years of use by little boys and then, adolescents with grubby hands and poor aim does not make for a Better Homes and Gardens display. I have been badgering husband to repair some loose drywall tape so I could at least repaint. I know the room needs a complete makeover, but that is way down the priority list. But, a coat of paint will make it sparkle and cover up the evidence of a life that like the horse has been “rode hard and put away wet.” Literally. But, as one thing always leads to another, it was not a matter of gluing the tape back in place. It had to be peeled off, the wall sanded and then, new tape installed and held together by drywall mud. Husband kept whining that it was a project bigger than he wanted to handle right now, while I reasoned that it could easily be done. After all, I watched a You Tube video with instructions. So, on Sunday, while he napped in front of a NASCAR race, I surreptitiously went upstairs and started peeling off drywall tape. Which came off in much bigger chunks that I had planned. And had metal stripes embedded inside it that had to be cut with shears, not scissors. I got most of it down before having to confess to husband what I had started. Pretty soon, we were both covered in drywall dust and he was not a happy handyman. He put up the tape and did the first layer of mud, working on a stool to reach the ceiling and cussing under his breath the whole time. Finally, he threw down the putty knife and said, “You do it. You watched the video.” So, I have. And learned a lot about drywall mud. Husband’s mistake, and what I learned from experience, not from a video, is that the mud has to go on in thin layers. He was trying to fill in all the cracks and make a smooth finish all in one step. Instead, thin coats, sanded in between, in the long run come out looking better. I also gave up on the putty knife, and started using my hands. With my fingers, I can wedge the mud where it needs to go and feel the finish, getting a better result. I look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy when I am done and am still peeling mud out of my engagement ring, but I think I may have finished up the job tonight. We will see how it dries and looks after one more sanding. While I was spreading mud, and contemplating how to get back on husband’s good side, I was thinking about a book I read last week called, “My Neighbor’s Faith.” It was a collection of stories about people of different religions who met each other in a variety of circumstances and learn about each other’s religion. It was humbling to read how many people of other faiths are surprised when they encounter Christians who are kind, compassionate, helpful and non judgmental. Like drywall mud, our faith needs to be shared in constant, loving, and small doses, not flung in harsh angry globs. Kindness leads to repentance. And a light touch to better drywall as well.