While sorting through fresh pile laundry, I noticed a little midnight blue splotch here and there. As I pull up more and more clothes to fold, there is not just a little splotch here and there, but streaks, huge splotches, whole white toddler collars turned to a tie-died blue-fest. My C Wonder shirt that I wear weekly no longer has crisp thin navy lines over white, but blue and white meddled together as if to portray an overcast day's sky. Now, rather than pulling for clothes to fold, I'm digging for the culprit while I intermittently spew out questions. "Was there anything in your pocket from school this week? Did you happen to stick a crayon in your pocket? Or one of those gel writers? Do you remember putting anything in your pocket? What could this be?" The response is a stream of "no. no. no." Then, as if clarity hit, "Mommy, maybe a long, long time ago someone had something in their pocket and you forgot to check the pocket and then you washed it and it got all over the clothes."
I found the skinny green jeans inside out, with the clear location of the culprit. Maybe it was the indigo colored pocket fabric that gave it away, stiff and almost glued together. No wrappers or plastic tubes though. Must have been an unwrapped crayon. Although this seems bad, this is nothing like the teal play-doh in the dryer last month.
I should now know to check pockets. Check pants pockets before the wash, check coat pockets before leaving a store, nooks, crannies and behind couches for chewed snuck gum. Check. Check. Check.
My moment of pride was shattered as I thought back to this morning when I diligently put the wash in at 6:30am according to schedule (which to do this daily is a new habit I'm working on). What a wonderful housewife am I? All shot down with the questions, "what good is washing clothes in a sea of soap only to be blotched up by some hidden midnight-blue intruder? Or could it have been the heat of the dryer that really mucked up the load? Maybe the crayon or gel stick would have been in tact if not put into the spinning heat."
So it seems with so much of my sin. A hint of discontentment here and a bit of anger there, and when put in the hot circular circumstances of the day, oh, to the surface they rise infecting the whole household, everyone in earshot at the grocery store, and the other drivers on the road. Look out, I'm on the offense, and I don't even know why. I need to check my own pockets. The pockets of my mind where meditation sits and puts up its feet.
Am I meditating on:
"I am the best and I am amazing. I've got this one, as long as those other people stay out of my way and play by my rules. It would just make things a lot easier."
"You know, San Juan is nice this time of year. Sunny, warm beaches, zero stress, and a significant break from these ordinary times."
"We have clothes to fold, crayons to play with, a 2nd floor laundry room, and if all else fails and we have to get a few extra shirts, not a big deal. So grateful. We have more than enough."
OR in deep pockets
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
(Colossians 3:12-15 ESV)
OR in even deeper pockets
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Colossians 3:16-17 ESV)
I feel like I can be living this outwardly wonderful life, charming and flattering, and all the while having a blue crayon tucked deep in my mind. Some would call me a "slow burn," some would call it a way of being. Many would say, that's just how they are. But rest assured, the Lord will be able to help me and you find our blue crayons, whatever we may call them. Not only can He reveal what they are and where they are, but He can draw you to freedom and blot out all the old stains. The old will be made new, the stains will be gone, and the same God who laid the foundations of the earth will set you on new foundations and remove all hints of transgressions. “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires" (Isaiah 54:11ESV) and "as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12 ESV)
Be encouraged. Reading through this, I am encouraged to focus on the hope, the promises made of old, which are same promises yesterday, today, and always. There are many, many more, and we can only benefit from stuffing our pockets with them.
Maybe now God will give me insight into the vaseline body painting expedition. Too much for one day. :-)