Sunday, February 14, 2010

A different perspective on dirty laundry

Today’s Reading: Acts 13:24-25 NIV

24 [Paul said,] “Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. 25 As John was completing his work, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’”

Good morning!

I like doing laundry, most of the time. I enjoy the sweet scent of freshly washed clothes as I transfer the load from my automatic washing machine into the dryer. I have a friend who struggles to breathe whenever her neighbors use scented dryer sheets. The wafting fragrance blowing through the air makes her incredibly ill. When she told me this, I realized she had a totally different perspective on laundry, something I have taken for granted my entire life.

When our children were teenagers and still living at home, Saturdays were always big laundry days. Being away most of the week for work prompted me to spend a lot of time in front of our washer and dryer, loading and unloading clothes. I often wished for a second clothes dryer, knowing I could have done twice the laundry in half the time with one heavy duty washer and two dryers. By the time I got everything folded and upstairs, back into their respective closets and dresser drawers, I was tired – or at least I thought I was. I have a friend who lives on another continent. His life experience with laundry is very different from my own. He gently reminded me yesterday that they have no running water for laundry, no machines to do the washing or drying for them. They spend an entire day simply hauling water from a nearby river to a place where they can actually wash their clothes by hand. Then they must hang their clothing out to dry. It is a necessary, yet extremely difficult chore. This made me wonder just how many conveniences I take for granted. Sweet scents, machines that do all the work, the convenience of running water in my own home – and I found I was ashamed of my personal perspective on laundry. My view is definitely skewed.

It takes a different perspective to fully grasp the love of our Lord. No one could even begin to imagine the kind of love that the Father has for all of His children. How broken-hearted He must be, as He sees us continually disobeying His teaching, refusing to love our neighbors; choosing to live such self-centered lives. He went to such great lengths to give us clean hearts, clean hands, a clean slate – only His blood can provide the spotless covering we will wear one day when we stand before the judgment seat. If it were not for the love of the Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, the foul stench of our own dirty laundry will be wafting through the air, unavoidable to all who have their keen sense of smell. John tried to explain the differences between a messenger and a Savior. Many of the people who heard him speak that day had no earthly idea how stinking filthy their lives had truly become.

The next time you run a load of laundry, stop and think about the stench of your dirty gym socks, and what it takes for you to get them really clean. How much bleach and scented laundry detergent will you use to bring them back to life? Remember your neighbors, both near and far, who physically struggle just to wash their clothes each week. Think about your neighbors who cannot breathe because of our own man-made, manufactured performed scents. Remember the cost of receiving a permanent stain remover for sin, and the sacrifice Christ made just to give us clean hearts. You may find a totally different perspective in how you handle your dirty laundry from here on out. Stop trying to hide your dirty laundry - come clean before the Lord Jesus Christ today! Ask Him to wash you, inside and out, once and for all. You see, His love is the only covering we need to become truly clean, now and forever.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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