Waiting for Empty Laundry Baskets

Waiting for Empty Laundry BasketsDoing laundry drives me a little bit crazy.

Tell me you get this. I mean, we wash, we wear, we wash, we wear. Over. And over. And over again.

The monotony of household chores, in general, bores me to tears. More than once, I’ve raised my hands to God to say, “Why? Why the same thing over and over?”

My family members, especially, are not good stewards of their dirty laundry. They do not alert me to stubborn stains. They do not separate whites and colors as they stack dirty clothes in piles. My daughter often wears layers and pulls everything off at once, leaving me a tangled mess to unravel at the washer—socks and inside-out pants, underwear, tanks, and tees. And my husband rolls up all his dirty clothes at once into a ball. I have often found a surprise black sock in a load of whites because it was tucked into an undershirt.

So, there I stand at the washer. Treating stains and unfolding pants legs. Plucking out socks where they don’t belong.

All the time and most everyday.

Today, as I did the same—turning Saturday’s softball pants inside out and extracting wadded-up socks from the cuffs—it occurred to me just how godly this act is. I so often struggle to find significance in the routine of everyday, that I was thrilled for this glimpse into my greater purpose.

Doing Laundry Is Doing Kingdom Work

With each garment I untangle, clean, and fold, I’m bringing in the kingdom. I’m making things right. I’m cleaning the dirt away. I’m restoring order to chaos. I’m re-aligning the seams and folding at the creases and smoothing the wrinkles.

As we work in this creation to impose order and beauty and truth on an otherwise broken world, we reflect the image of Christ. We push a little more of Jesus into the darkest and dirtiest recesses.

And we do it everyday. With laundry and dishwashers and diapers. All the time. Over and over again. Why?

Because God’s love and grace is inexhaustible.

And because we do not labor in vain.

We have assured hope that God is making all things new. Our dirty clothes (both literally and figuratively) will one day be totally redeemed. Filthy rags will become robes of pristine glory.

And our dirty laundry baskets will be forever empty.

Photo Credit: Biblioteca de Arte-Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian via Compfight cc