I walked through the door into our bedroom and saw the pile. It was my husband’s pile and I shook my head feeling bitterness that it was still there. I think socks must breed in the drawer and then give birth in their dirty piles. It didn’t matter that I had my own growing stack on the opposite side of the bed. I couldn’t see that side.
I hate that we operate that way – addressing the visible sin in others’ lives and refusing to tackle what is concealed in our own. My hidden pile of laundry will wear a deeper hole in the floor as is sits unseen, forgotten and collecting dust. And yet, the pile at my feet is the one that I allow to invade my thoughts.
Our pastor always says to draw a circle around yourself to see the issue. My problem is my pride often doesn’t leave enough room for any laundry to surface in my circle, leaving me looking outward for messes to clean up. We are only the master of our own messes, misinterpreting the piles of others to be dirtier than they are.
I misunderstood my husband’s laundry that day when I saw it as a burden. Not 24 hours later, my 6 month old son crawled right off of our bed and dove head first into that notorious pile. Oh, beloved pile. That miserable mound transformed into a mountain of mercy in a mere moment.
Isn’t that the truth? We judge and criticize what’s in front of us, mistaking it for a mess and missing the mercy. The truth being that we aren’t getting what we deserve.
My son’s swan dive deserved a knot on his head or a broken neck, and my laundry deserved more discrimination than my husband’s. Our saving grace while we tip-toe around everyone else’s dirty laundry is the fact that we all go through the same process to get rid of it.
What can wash away my sins? The familiar melody hums in my mind as I stoop low to gather my dirty laundry alongside my husband’s. I remember how this bunch in particular padded my son’s fall, and I cringe as I recall my bitterness towards something that God wanted to use for good in our lives. What I found offensive, He found generous.
Piles of mercy all around us, reminding us to turn our critical eyes inward and start our own load with the best laundry detergent around. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.