There was no escaping the fact that you had been there…it certainly did not require a forensic scientist to work out who had visited the scene. The evidence was unmistakable for about 200m in either direction. There where white tyre marks on both sides of the road, growing fainter as you moved further away from the epicentre of the incident.
Two large paint cans filled with white paint – at least 15 litres each – had fallen out of the back door of a painter’s van and had hit the centre lanes of a busy road. The cans had burst open and now the traffic was driving through; spreading the paint all up the road and coating each car with tell-tale signs of where it had been.
I narrowly managed to avoid getting paint all over my hire car, the only reason I didn’t end up with an attractive set of ‘white-walled’ tyres and matching guards was the fact that I saw the tyre tracks on the other side of the road and, thankfully, I had the presence of mind to move to the outer lane. As I drove past the incident there was a bit of a commotion and a few angry people with one in particular who had stopped right in the middle of the paint puddle and was now standing next to their car with paint on their shoes…
As I drove away the marks on the road quickly faded but I did see a car a couple of kilometres later at the car wash with a guy feverishly spraying the high pressure hose attempting to remove all signs of the unexpected paint job.
I thought about how hard we try to keep our cars looking good – some people are particularly fastidious about it – I felt really sorry for those who now had marks and stains where they didn’t want them. I thought about how important it would be to quickly remove them before the paint had chance to dry because the job would be so much harder later that day and impossible the next.
No matter how hard you try I have found that it is impossible to avoid all of the ‘paint puddles’ of life and at different times you travel in directions which leave stains upon your heart and soul. Some are self-inflicted and others are imposed upon us by others.
Jesus demonstrated the need for each of us to be washed and when Peter refused, it provided us with some important food for thought.
“Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” John 13:8