In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.—Ephesians 1:7
After a women’s event at church I was asked to help wash the tablecloths. As I was removing the dirty ones, I realized they had no wrinkles. So I not only needed to wash them, ironing was part of the process, too?
The other, experienced tablecloth washer assured me that there was no ironing involved. Just dry on low heat, pull them out of the dryer and they would be wrinkle free. That sounded better. You know, I don’t iron much anymore. I have very few things that require it. My husband sends his shirts to the cleaners and most everything else is simply wash and wear—or worn with a few wrinkles. (I live in Austin, Texas. It’s pretty casual here.)
My church isn’t just down the street—it’s about a 50-minute round trip. To save time and gas, I planned to deliver the tablecloths back to church a few days later on Bible study day. They were washed and dried as instructed.
Let me be totally honest here. While I was more than happy to bring those tablecloths home and wash them, the thought of ironing them didn’t sound too inviting. Especially since it was now the night before Bible study, and I still had plenty of homework to finish. There was no extra time on my agenda for the evening, or more specifically, ironing time.
When I started on the first one, I had anything but a servant’s heart. The Holy Spirit saw that I needed an attitude adjustment and got to work. By the time I was finished, I wished there was more to iron.
As those first wrinkles disappeared from the heat of the iron, God immediately let me see how He had done the same thing with my life. Every time I have messed up, each time there was a wrinkle or a sin, God was there to take it away. Yes, I went through some heat as He took me through the refining process. However, because of His mercy and love, that sin, that wrinkle, was forgiven and forgotten by my sweet Savior. Soon it became a great joy to see those wrinkles on the tablecloths disappear and it was a true labor of love.
Not only did God take my sins away, like the heat from the iron was taking away the wrinkles, but He cleansed me with the blood of Christ, making me white as snow, like the white tablecloths. As often happens, a song came to mind as I was ironing: Nothing But the Blood of Jesus. I thought this was a relatively new song because it had been recorded by several contemporary Christian artists, but discovered it was written in 1876 by Robert Lowry.
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh! Precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
I had no idea that washing and ironing tablecloths would be such a spiritual experience. I will never look at a white tablecloth quite the same again.