Photo © Geoff Johnson
What kind of wounds you might wonder? The bathroom gives you just a glimpse into such things. The bathroom is a place that is home to so many things that should be private...like showering, going to the bathroom, dealing with your menstrual cycle. And not only do you want privacy for those things yourself, but it can be embarrassing to see others in those same situations. However, when there is too much stuff stacked in front of the door for it to close even a few inches, you are left to do all those things with the door wide open. To this day I have no idea why my mom never put a shower curtain up to provide privacy while we bathed, but she didn't. When we were little we took baths and it wasn't a big deal. But eventually it would become a terribly awkward situation.
Behind the tub faucet the tiles and drywall had been removed and never replaced. Mom didn't want water to get into the walls so we were left to suds up and rinse. We did it as fast as possible because the door was wide open, and especially quickly in the winter because it was so miserably cold. It led to all sorts of shame and self consciousness and issues with my body image. But, the kitchen sink didn't work and neither did the bathroom sink so besides a flushing toilet, the tub was the only running water in the house. Bathing, teeth brushing, hand washing, lemonade making...it all happened from the tub faucet. Eventually, about a year or so after I moved out, the pipes froze and there was no more water in the house at all. That is what ultimately led Geoff to leave as well.
I never really thought much about it from Geoff's perspective until we went back to the house together. He was the only boy in the house with two females and a bathroom door that didn't close. He spoke of how he trained himself to almost ignore that the bathroom was there when he walked quickly down the hall.
The hall itself was just another place for stuff to get stacked, not serving much purpose other than for getting from our rooms to the front door. This picture almost doesn't do it justice because as a child I remember a bigger pile of stuff against the left wall that spread the entire length of the hall. It seems to me that most of it was newspaper, but I'm not exactly sure. And although I don't remember what all that pile contained, I do know that to me it seemed like a long skinny table that was about waist high and took up about half the of hallway leaving a small trail to walk down. It is also hard to tell from the photo is just how deep the pile of stuff is that lines the floor. You can get a better idea if you look in the lower right corner of the image and see the furnace return. It stood probably about 12-15 inches off the ground, but as you can see it is mostly covered with junk.
Photo © Geoff Johnson
I think the best way to describe it all is with the words a counselor spoke to me a few years ago. While some hoarders have piles of papers or stacks of boxes...there was no such order in our house. It really was like living in a garbage dump. Even so, I love what one of my dear friends said. She is one of the few that came into the house with me a few years ago and as she looked around she very rightly compared it all to the condition of our hearts. Full of junk...full of sin...anger, bitterness, jealousy, pride, fear, selfishness, impatience, an ungrateful spirit. And that is where we live, learning to survive around all the garbage and much like my brother and I as children didn't know any different, all of us are often unaware that things aren't meant to be this way, unaware that there is hope and life offered to us through Jesus Christ and that our hearts can be made clean!
Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.