2-23 The House is Spotless but Unclean

The House is Spotless but Unclean


When an unclean spirit comes out of someone it wanders over the desert sands seeking a resting place, and finds none. Then it says, “I will go back to the home I left.” So it returns and finds the house unoccupied, swept clean, and tidy. It goes off and collects seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they all come in and settle there; and in the end that person’s plight is worse than before (Mt. 12:43-45.)


My house is more than swept clean and tidy.

I paint walls—sandpaper commodes and tubs—

polish horizontal surfaces—wipe vertical ones—

mop floors—steam-clean rugs—dust attic slats.


When the dogs come in, Big Foot faints

and Stumpy goes into shock.

I rush Stump to the vet.

The poor devil is still not right.


Seven unclean spirits move in

with no intention of paying rent.


Envy criticizes neighbor’s manicured shrubbery;

Covet scowls at his vehicles;

Lust leers into HER window across the street;

Gluttony devours bagels like Cheerios;

Sloth lolls on the couch and pimps

dust bunnies under the hem;

Anger fumes at the computer;

and Pride buffers them behind vinyl siding.


The house is in uproar:

Envy, Covet, Lust, and Gluttony

Brawl with Sloth, until Anger

hikes the thermostat and wall paint blisters.

Pride spits and squeegees the windows.


Brillo Pads, bleach, ammonia, pine oil, Acetone,

bug foggers, alien blood, and even house exorcists fail.


How do you get rid of unclean spirits?


Peter C. Venable oelkers9@msn.com


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