On a recent Sunday afternoon, my husband sat beside me on the couch and proclaimed, “I need to do some laundry.” In your house this may be a normal statement, not causing the raised eyebrows and questioning look that it raised in mine. But in this home, I do the laundry. It’s not that I particularly LOVE the task of sorting, washing, drying, folding, and ironing all of the dirty clothes the six of us produce on a weekly basis, but as the stay-at-home parent and executive domestic engineer of this family, laundry is one of my jobs. And Monday is laundry day. Every Monday is laundry day. This is not new. This does not strike me as confusing.
What WAS confusing was that on a SUNDAY my HUSBAND declared HE needed to do laundry.
Evidently he was out of important clean items such as boxers, jeans, and socks. Had he worn ALL of his boxers, jeans, and socks in a mere 6 days since the last laundry day, you may ask. No, he had not. The problem was that he had dirty laundry stuffed in a couple of different overnight bags that had never been unpacked. He had dirty laundry hiding under a stack of work shirts that were heading to the cleaners. He had dirty socks still in his “yard” shoes from the weekend before. You see, I will sort, wash, dry, fold, and iron his laundry, but I will not hunt for it. I am not going to go through bags and baskets and stinky shoes and gather it. That may make me a terrible domestic engineer in your estimation but every girl has her limits. My husband is a grown man and if he wants his dirty underwear washed, all he has to do it put it in the right basket and BRING IT TO ME. I actually think it is a pretty good arrangement for him. I think he gets the better end of the bargain on this one. And yet… there he was, nooks and crannies stuffed with dirty laundry with a perfectly willing and skillful wife waiting. And Monday on the horizon.
This little domestic exchange got me thinking that I may be a “dirty laundry stuffer” in some ways too. I may not have a wife ready to wash all of my clothes for me, but I have a Jesus who is willing to wash all my sins away for me, and lift my heaviest burdens. You see, I picture Him, waiting and willing for me to come to Him, arms full of my junk; my stinkiest attitudes, the grossest meditations of my heart, my ugliest thoughts, the big ‘old stain of pride, the grunginess of control. After all, even my righteous acts are like filthy rags according to Isaiah 64:6. But, I don’t always gather it up and bring it to my willing Jesus. Sometimes I stuff it in nooks and crannies too. Perhaps I don’t even recognize it until I can smell it. Maybe I am too embarrassed by the filth. If I am honest, maybe I like it that way, just stretched and dirty enough to be comfortable like jeans that have been worn too many days in a row. Perhaps I think I can clean it all up by myself when it gets bad enough.
And it is not true. And it is needless. And I am most definitely getting the better end of the bargain on this one.
Are there some smelly places in your life you have forgotten about or chosen to ignore? Are there some dirty old habits stuffed in a corner? Some worn and comfortable sins that need a good washing? He tells us simply in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” It is Laundry Day Ladies and this is good news! He was willing to do the saving work on the cross for you and me. He is willing to forgive again and again. He will wash us clean every single time. All he asks of us is to gather up our dirtiest laundry and bring it to Him. Now that is a good deal!