Micro Fiber and Pharisees

A couple months ago, I came across a special through Amazon Prime: 36 micro fiber towels for $13. Our old house has more windows than I can count and I ordered the towels in the hopes that they might help me solve my window cleaning problem. Two days later I opened the box and went to work. The results were more satisfying than I can convey. Though there are subtleties involved, basically to clean windows you take one micro fiber towel and get it wet (just water, no window cleaner) and wring it out. Fold the towel into fourths and take one side and wipe the window. Let it dry just a bit and then – this is the important part – take a dry micro fiber towel and buff the window until it’s clear. Once I experienced success with such ease, I couldn’t wait to get to all the windows. Periodically rinse the wet towel and periodically replace the dry towel and you can clean dozens and dozens of windows with no streaks and no chemicals. Remarkable. I feel all peaceful inside just thinking of it.


Don’t you hate it when your car windows are all grimy and have that coat of film on them? Micro fiber is the answer. Same procedure, same results. Smudges on your stainless steel refrigerator? Micro fiber takes care of that. Nasty computer or iPhone screen? One wipe with a dry micro fiber towel and you will be amazed. Granite counters have never looked better. Microwaves, toaster ovens, dishwashers, glass top stoves, all magically clean with micro fiber. And I’ve just recently discovered another great use. Mopping the kitchen floor is a hassle what with the bucket and wringing out the mop. Skip all that. Get a micro fiber towel wet, wring it out, spread it out on the floor and put your dry mop on top of that and go to work. Quick and easy spotless floors. It’s so easy you can do it while the coffee is brewing instead of just standing there watching the pot.


And maybe the best thing is that my towels came in 3 different colors so I can avoid cross contamination. Blue is for the kitchen counters and appliances, yellow is for the windows, green is for the floors. My life is so much better with micro fiber towels.


There is a downside. As you may infer, it has brought out my obsessive compulsive tendencies. I get a little irritated and a little excited when I see a smudge on the counter or a window. I really want to get right on that with a clean towel. I’ve also gotten a little resentful about members of the family leaving those smudges but the thrill and ease of erasing them takes that resentment away. Now I just can’t believe that there are some people in the world who are still using Windex or, God forbid, just letting their windows, counters, and floors be dirty. What kind of person would just let that happen? Obsessive-compulsives struggle with superiority issues. One more problem: a couple of times Mary Ward has been trying to tell me something important but I’ve been distracted by the smudges and the overwhelming desire to make them disappear. It’s hard to be intimate with someone wielding a micro fiber towel.


The 7th chapter of Mark has Jesus in conflict with the Pharisees who cannot believe that Jesus and his disciples aren’t taking great pains to follow the ritual cleansing practices the Pharisees do. Jesus points out that the Pharisees are spending a lot of time cleaning but meanwhile their hearts are hardened with superiority and they are distracted from caring for people in a sincere way. Jesus tells them to clean their hearts and not just the plates and cups they use for their ritual meals. Cleaning rituals are addictive. Pretty soon you can care a lot more about cleaning stuff than treating people kindly.


Jesus seems to know that we all have outside things to deal with: jobs, duties, obligations, rules, expectations. While he doesn’t tell us to shirk those things, he does tell us not to forget what goes on inside our hearts. Are we so busy doing things the way we think they should be done that we are ignoring the needs of others? Are we lost in doing things correctly and sinking into the loneliness of superiority? Do we seek control so much that spontaneity has no chance to frolic?


How are you living your life? What are you missing? Most of us spend 90% of our time on 10% of the things in our lives that are relatively unimportant. Most of us get lost in form and forget substance. My drawer of micro fiber towels is a good reminder of that.


Yours faithfully,

Robert C. Wisnewski, Jr.


Adult Inquirers’ Class Led by the Rector – Sundays in Lent – 9:15 a.m.

If you are an adult and would like to be confirmed by the Bishop this Spring, or if you just would like a refresher course in the faith, development, and teachings  of the Episcopal Church, an Inquirers’ Class will be held during the Sunday School hour on the Sundays in Lent, March 5 – April 9. This course covers all matters of things Episcopal with attention to what distinguishes the Episcopal Church from other denominations, personal prayer and stewardship, Holy Scriptures, Church History, the Sacraments, the Liturgical Church Year, symbols, and the Book of Common Prayer. Presentations will be made each week with dialogue and questions encouraged. We will meet in the Archives Room. For more information contact Robert (robert@stjohnsmontgomery.org).