It is one of those too-rare Monday mornings. Following a full weekend of ministry-related travel, my family is finally fed, dressed and out the door. The house is once again quiet. Savoring the silence, I make a fresh pot of coffee, then sit at the kitchen table sipping slowly, staring out the glass patio door as soft shafts of morning sunlight filter in. For once the only pressing appointment I have is with the loads of laundry now happily humming in the washer and dryer down the hall.
Though some might consider it just one more of life’s tedious tasks, I have always loved doing laundry. There is just something soothing about the whoosh and whir of the washer and dryer as I go about other tasks. Especially on a cold winter’s day, I love the warmth and fragrance it spreads through the house, causing the windows to steam and bringing a snuggled-in sense of well-being in an otherwise inhospitable world. Or on a bright, open window summer day when the clean and crisply folded stacks seem to absorb the sun’s warm scent and sparkle.
For me, folding those fragrant fabrics is like aroma therapy, not to mention the routine and repetitive process that requires little thought but produces such an amazing sense of satisfaction. Stepping back and seeing the symmetrical stacks makes me feel that my whole life is once again clean and in order. Even if only temporarily.
Face it, from the delicate “unmentionables” to the brash, colorful cottons, nothing represents the everyday stuff of life like laundry. These are the duds we don to show our style or camouflage our cabooses—stuff that so quickly and easily becomes soiled and wrinkled, needing frequent spot removal if not a deep detergent dunking.
How much more so this is true, spiritually speaking.
No doubt the reason we relish those days when things hum so warmly and fuzzily along is that our lives are too often in a very different type of tumble. I know whereof I speak. Not only am I married to a much-in-demand minister who is also a denominational executive, but I’m also busily blessed with my own writing and speaking ministry. Add to that the delightful, though often intrusive, dynamics of a fairly large family and it’s no surprise that things frequently get a bit out of balance in the Braddy household. And that’s not counting the unpredictable parade of unexpected interruptions—and eruptions—that come dressed in every form and fashion.
As a result, I’ve come to understand that finding time to fall back and regroup is not just special, but crucial to keeping my spiritual, physical, mental and emotional health and well-being in balance. I believe it’s only as we grasp the importance of nurturing this same sense of serenity and order in our spiritual lives that we discover how everything else falls into place under that.
Perhaps you, too, feel a desperate need to bring balance back into your life but don’t know where to start. Before you begin another day, I have good news. You have a friend in the laundry business. His name is Jesus. All you have to do is drop off your dirty duds, ask him to take care of them, and he’ll do the rest. You even get a written guarantee. “Come now let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18 NIV)
The truth for all of is that no matter how life tumbles us or turns up the heat, no matter how wrinkled or soiled our circumstances, it is God’s grace alone that provides the blessed balance we need for everything to truly come out in the wash.
Trust me, my friend. It’s nothing short of a wash day miracle.
Excerpted from Judi’s book, It All Comes Out In The Wash: Sorting Through Priorities When Your Load Is Out of Balance (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2006, 192 pages). Ordering info and Discussion Guide available at www.judibraddy.com.