A couple of things happened just as February was ending and March was beginning. Hope it's okay to slip in this extra piece that fits best now.
The other morning I went upstairs to find Mr. Whiskers snuggled up to a lacy white Victorian pillow that was a gift from a special child. For some reason the soft yellow towel on the end of the bed where he usually sleeps had lost its appeal. Any spot that he often curls up on can be identified by a patch of gold. Although I don't have a lot of knowledge about animals, I'm guessing it comes from some oily substance in his ginger hair. I love my house buddy, but not enough to let him wreck the pillow.
Perhaps washing it on delicate cycle with a special soap would remove his mark. However, if he isn't given the opportunity to leave his signature the process won't be necessary.
Another scene contributed to what God was speaking to my heart about Mr. Whiskers and the pillow. The snow had melted during a few milder gray days revealing a rather dingy landscape. Then overnight, temperatures dropped and a fresh snowfall made our world look clean again. I knew it was only a cover-up, that what was underneath hadn't changed, but it still transformed the image and lifted our spirits.
These episodes brought God's forgiving ways to mind. First that He wouldn't declare any clean-up just required too much effort. No matter how ugly a stain I've created with some totally out-of-line words or action, He's willing and able to completely remove it. Plus, He never merely covers over my sin so that everything looks pleasing again. He eradicates every trace of it, blots the charge from the records and forgets it happened. I am so very thankful for His amazing mercy and love.