Vol.III No.VII Pg.8
August 1966

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Mother had a feather duster. With it we could stir up the dust that had settled on the table, and fling it into the air so it could settle on the light fixture. Getting it off of the fixture was something else. Whoever invented the feather duster surely did not have a crystal chandelier like ours.

It was easier to use the duster than the O-Cedar cloth, but the latter got rid of the dust and cut down on the times those crystals had to be washed. By the time we got a vacuum cleaner the chandelier had been replaced by simple light fixtures -- but that is the way of progress.

Very few people use feather dusters today -- in the home. But in the church they are popular. Instead of facing up to problems, issues, sins of the members, etc., and correcting them; many use the old feather duster. Just shake the sins around so they will settle in some less obvious nook, and then pretend they aren't there. When the place gets so fouled up someone has to remove the dirt -- the hard way; we can blame that person for the whole filthy mess.

I once heard of a family that did not own a garbage can. They just threw the trash around until it got lost. I never did believe that would work -- and anyhow, my wife won't let me try it. I'm sure it won't work in the church, for I have seen it tried there. "Dirty linen" really gets rank when no one has the courage to take it to the cleaner. Problems were common in the early church. (Acts 20:29-f 1 Cor.1: 3:5: -f) They happen in the best of families. It is an unwholesome pride that makes us think we are so pure we have no need for house cleaning. If we would clean with regularity -- removing the dirt instead of sweeping it under the rug (a variation of the "feather duster" trick) the ultimate showdown would not be such a community affair.

But even when the neighbors see our "dirty linen" it seems to me they are likely to respect those who are trying to clean it, and shake their heads at those who try to hide it. An honest, open reckoning with facts appeal to good folk.

I'm a strong believer in turpentine, lye soap, and good strong preaching. Feather dusters always did make me sneeze.