Tuesday, October 11, 2011

As Simple as Laundry

Every week, without fail, the laundry bins at our house fill up again with dirty clothes. They need to be washed - they have dirt and sweat and grime on them. If i ignore the laundry piles, they will not go away --- they'll grow and bulge out of their bins, smell bad, and overwhelm the room.

While folding cleaned clothes this morning it struck me in a funny way --- just how very much we are like our laundry.
We ---- get ---- dirty ---- and need to be cleaned. It might be we chose the grass stains on our knees when we willingly got down on the ground and dug in the dirt, or it could be we got pushed down against our will. But inevitably, if we live in this world, we're going to get dirty.

Have you ever felt dirty and discarded? Tossed in a pile of smelly, filthy things of which you neither wanted to share company with nor wanted to be associated with. Have you ever wondered, "what happened, how did i end up here"? Or, maybe you knew you'd get dirty if you joined in on the games that were being played, but now, your sick and tired of the stench and filth you find yourself surrounded by.

People are like laundry:

-we get dirty and need to be cleaned
-sometimes we stay in the dirty clothes hamper a long time; when that happens we really stink
-we can't wash ourselves --we can try --- but we'll still stink -------- we need help
-it takes lots of good Water to clean us, dirty water won't do the trick
-soap stings when it's ground into the embedded dirty places
-dirt doesn't come out completely with just gentle strokes, it takes some serious agitating to get to the deepest filth
-we need lots of rinsing, lots of fresh water, lots of help getting all the dirt out completely and if we don't rinse well, we're still stuck with the dirt, it just may have moved about and spread all over us
-spin cycles can leave us disoriented --- sometimes it's good to be disoriented from where we were, so we can have a fresh perspective on where we need to be
-once we're clean, we need time to let the sun (Son) dry us and cover us with His good, fresh, clean smell
-we need someone to fold us and help us get to where we need to be
-if we end up in the wrong laundered pile, we will never be worn by the right person
-sometimes we can be hanging on the clothesline, letting the sun (Son) dry us, and a crow flies overhead and poops on us ------ not our fault, but we still have to be washed again
-it feels so good to be cleaned and ready for the next time the hand reaches for us
-it feels terrible to be dirty and unused (dirty, unused people are the meanest)
-if you lay next to moldy, mildewy, dirty clothes for too long in the bottom of the bin, it doesn't matter how clean you are, you're going to start growing mildew too
-clean clothes never "rub off" on dirty clothes --- but dirty clothes do '"rub off" on clean clothes (clean clothes can't clean dirty clothes -- it takes soap and water and a Cleaner)
-rough living can get us dirty but also leave us with a hole torn into us -- when that happens it takes a needle and thread to sew up the hole (and that hurts) --- then we still need to be washed --- it takes a lot longer before we can hang in the closet again, ready to be used --- but it's still very possible
-a cleaned shirt will last much, much longer than a shirt never laundered; it will go more places and see more of life

So --- where are you in the laundry process right now?
-are you patiently waiting to be worn again?
-are you carrying the filth from your last encounter with the world?
-are you feeling the soap being ground in deeply to the wounds that need to be cleaned?
-are you blowing in the breeze, hanging in the sun, letting the sweet scent of clean settle in?
-are you stuck at the bottom of the laundry bin, beginning to smell the stench of old dirt and grime?
-are you moving about in the world today trying to dodge the grass stains and bird poop?

Let's all remember --- we're surrounded by other shirts and socks. Eventually we'll find ourselves in the laundry bin waiting to be washed or the laundry basket waiting to be put away --- but we'll find ourselves there together. Surrounded by each other --- in need of a Cleanser.

Even through laundry --- God reminds me ---- of how ----- we ----- need ----- Him.
And how --- if we will do our part ---- HE WILL DO HIS.
And we'll find ourselves laundered, sewn up, and ready for His Hand to reach for us.

There's lots of "dirt" in this world --- it's inevitable that we will get dirty --- but we don't have to hide --- dirt's no big deal anymore --- if you have water and a Cleaner.

"Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin."  Psalm 51:2 (NIV)

"Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
   Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry."  Psalm 51:1-2 (Message)

"But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted." 
1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)

 Photos taken by Steve of a typical Taylor laundry day :)

1 comment:

  1. I'll never look at my laundry the same way again; in fact I'll probably be more urgent about cleaning it and doing it with a happier spirit! ;) What a great analogy. Thanks for posting!