The laundry basket makes a “thud” as I hoist it down each step. I’m short, the basket is tall and narrow, and I’m simply too tired to find a different one. Leaning into the spirit of defeat (the drama appeals to me) I opt to wrestle, grunt, and “thud,” “thud,” thud” my way down the stairs.
With the basket. To feed the washer again.
The prospect of this chore is churning up the old “I was meant for more” nonsense that rears its miserable head – about once a month and sadly more consistently during the months of January, February, and most of March—until the hard ground reluctantly softens to make room for the crocus.
This day I can feel myself physically and mentally fading as morning drones on — listless and dry at the core. The feeling spills over, like the clothes in the basket…and on the floor of the hallway…and in my kids’ rooms — wrinkled, unclean, walked on, misshapen and faded, waiting to be scooped up, cleaned up, and care for.
Funny thing, laundry, at least for me. I know other moms who enjoy the complete cycle of the chore – the gathering, sorting, spot-cleaning, washing, drying, folding, putting away . (I am more baffled and exhausted by this as I write each step.)
I’m more of the “pick-it-up-show-it-some-Febreze-love- and-jam-it-back-in-the-drawer” mindset.
But alas, my mate is of military ilk and my kids have heard about the other moms I mentioned before, and so washing and drying it is. I am undone at the thought that this is a chore I must do again and again, multiplied by the 17 years I’ve been married, the five kids that I have, and the untold years of dirty clothes that lay ahead of me. I don’t feel this strongly about any other repetitive chore that comprise my housewife duties. But the laundry and my chronic inability to master it, get me thinking…
My Father does not Febreze.
No, every day he patiently finds me. He lovingly scoops me up from my rumpled mess. Tenderly, he finds my stains and ugly spots. He is not angry or frustrated that we must repeat this process again and again.
He knows of the stains and the dirt – how they got there, how deeply set they are, and how their presence can seep into everything else. He understands their complexities far better than I, and He goes to work. He takes his time at this spot cleaning, using the best methods – though I seldom understand what they are. Sometimes his approach feels like it’s not going to work. Other times, it’s easy and simple and I know to be quiet and let Him work.
Always, it is just what I needed.
The washing process? Well now that is different. It only needed to be done once, but he reminds me of it over and over. It was the blood of my precious Savior — shed for me on the cross. My faith hinges on that act, and the resurrection that followed.
And as He tends to the stains that represent my ongoing sin while I live on this earth, he addresses each one and reminds me of the work on that cross, and how He sees me because of it: clean.
He dries my tears, tucks away the fear and the anxiety that threatens to overtake me, and reminds me that he has put me where I belong – in the heart of my family, loving them and tending to their needs – even their laundry.
I think I’ll go find that basket.
By Christi MilliganLeave a Comment