a beautiful life ministry

The Joy of Ironing

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 an event at church I was asked to help wash the tablecloths. As I was removing the dirty ones, I realized they had no wrinkles. Hmmm. I not only needed to wash them, but ironing was part of the process also?

The other experienced tablecloth washer assured me that there was no ironing involved. Simply dry on low heat, pull out of the dryer immediately, and they would be wrinkle free.

That sounded much better. I don’t use my iron much these days.  My husband sends most of his shirts to the cleaners, and everything else is simply wash and wear—or worn with a few wrinkles. (I live in Austin, Texas. It’s extremely 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 a few days later on Bible study day.

Oh, no! When I pulled them out of the dryer, instead of being wrinkle-free, they looked as if they had been wadded up (while still wet) and left to dry. What had I done wrong?

Let me be totally honest here. While I was more than happy to bring those tablecloths home and wash them, the thought of ironing 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, 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.

As those first wrinkles disappeared from the heat of the iron, I visualized how God had done the same thing with my life. Every time I messed up, each time there was a wrinkle or a sin, He was there to take it away.

Yes, I went through some heat as I was taken 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 disappear, and ironing became 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. Just 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 current 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. Don’t think I will never look at a white tablecloth quite the same again.

Oh, Heavenly Father, that You would so lovingly change my heart as I do Your work during the day. You allowed Your Son to die for me! How can I not want to glorify You in all that I do—even something as simple as washing and ironing.