No one would have ever noticed it. It probably wouldn't affect the final product. But I knew it was there, and didn't like it, so I fastened a length of clear plastic tubing to the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner hose with electrical tape, slid a length of clothes hanger into the tubing to straighten it, and went to work. Holding a flashlight at just the right angle, I slipped the hose through the f-hole and tediously vacuumed the dust bunnies from the inside of my 1936 string bass. Some of them are probably older than I am, which is saying something. The largest was about two inches in diameter, and among other things, I sucked up a wrapper from some Fan Tan gum, which hasn't been made in decades.
Internal dust bunnies are not nearly as significant to the sound of my bass as is my lack of skill on the instrument itself. This afternoon as I was practicing my bowing, Linda was on the phone with her sister, who asked what was that awful noise in the background. Linda says it sounded like a wounded moose's love call, but I'm sure any self-respecting moose would be offended by such characterization. These days, he'd have to get in line; it seems everyone is offended by something.
Sometimes the only one who knows about the inner dirt in our lives is God himself. No one else sees or notices; it's pretty well hidden, and as long as the outside looks good, we're satisfied. After all, those internal dust bunnies aren't doing any harm; they don't seem to have any effect on the music of our lives, so why even bother?
I'm just a hack on the bass, but when it comes to life, Jesus Christ is a maestro. He can make the instrument of our lives sing as no one else, and the internal dirt that doesn't seem to make any difference when we play our amateurish life music makes a big difference when the master picks up the instrument. His ear is tuned to the finest irregularity, and the least impurity muffles the sonorous richness of the music he wants to flow from our hearts.
I vacuumed out the bass because I knew it was there and it bothered me. Jesus does the same with us, and for the same reason. Tomorrow I'll play again, and no one will notice any difference in the sound. But when it comes to my life, Jesus' cleansing makes a big difference, for which I am grateful tonight.