The Dirty Windshield

The old truck rumbled down the dusty dirt road. Father and son, sat quietly as they drove toward town. The farm field next to the dirt road was filled with rows and rows of corn stalks. Sudenly a grasshopper flew in front of the truck and splattered on the wind-shield. Then another and then another. The mess was gruesome to the boy so he asked.

“Dad, are you going to turn on the windshield wipers?”

“No son, if I do that it will smear and make an even bigger mess.” The Father answered.

“How can you see?” The boy asked.

“I can see. There are a few clear spots that I look through.” The father said. More bugs hit the windshield as it often does near the latter part of spring as the two of them made their way down the dusty dirt road.

When the two arrived in town, the father turned into the gas station, go out and cleaned the windshield with a water hose and a windsheild squeegie. When he was done he got back in the truck and the boy bellowed out. “I can see again.”

“You could see all along. When things get in our way, we find a way to keep going. When the end of the day comes our minds are filled with things like the bugs on the windshield. We have to simply wash away the day and start like new.” The father said.

The boy sat quietly as the father went through town and did his chores. Stopping at the post office and the grocery store. When they began to go home and approaced the dusty dirt road the boy moved over and sat next to his father. The father looked at his son and asked, “What are you doing?”

“I am getting ready to do the best I can to see the world when the bugs try and keep me from seeing.” The father smiled.

“You will find that there are people in the world just like the bugs. They will try and block you from seeing things the right way and try to get you to see things their way. When this happens what are you going to do?” The father asked.

“Clean the windshield?” The boy stated as if unsure of the answer.

The father smiled and said, “Exactly!” Suddenly a bug hit the windshield, then another. “Let’s say this one is frustration and this one is anger.” The father said while pointing at the bugs on the windshield. “Now we have to find a way to see past the mess and keep a clear view on where we are going.”

Then another grasshopper flew across the truck and splattered on the glass of the windshield. The boy looked at his father and pointed at the mess, “That ones my baby sister when she cries.” The boy sat up a little and found a place where he could see more clearly.

“When it is hard for us to see we must find a way to have what is called clarity.” The father said.

“What do you do when the whole windshield is covered and you can’t see?” The boy asked.

“Then it is time to stop, take a few minutes to fix the problem so that we can see more clearly.” Just then another bug blasted the windshield.

“That one is when I have to eat spinach!” The boy said and the two laughed all the way home.


[PHOTO by Shizhao on Wikimedia Commons.  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.]


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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2 Responses to The Dirty Windshield

  1. Today, this year, this very moment more than ever we have to get around the bugs that test our resolves! Driving along when we encounter bugs on the windshields of life, we are able to see their result. God put the splash and the results from the splash right in front of us to make us aware of what happens to obstacles. Like the King James version of the Bible says:
    “It came to pass, but it did not come to stay.” Thank you for the reminder
    Naomi T Drake, BITL (Believer in the Lord).

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