Monday, March 17, 2008

What's Red and White All Over?

I suppose it happens to every mother at least once.

I pulled the white wash out of the drier late last night and repeatedly moaned, “Oh no. . .oh no. . .oh no. . .”

“What’s the matter?” my husband asked.

“Somebody must have left a red crayon in their pocket. . .”

Every single item was streaked with red lines. The drier, too, was streaked red inside the drum.

After examining each piece, I realized there were no pockets in any of them.

“The baby must have stuck a red crayon in the laundry basket,” I said.

“Go ahead, blame the baby,” my husband joked.

I put everything back in the washer, and dumped a few cups of bleach in, letting it soak for a half hour and hoping for the best. I let the machine complete the cycle before going to bed.

When I woke up this morning, I again pulled each piece out, one by one. A few socks had been spared, and the dish towels were worn ragged to begin with, but all the undershirts, and especially all of my son’s uniform shirts, were irreparably harmed. I found the real culprit, a pair of Spiderman undies with a red waistband. Who in their right mind would invent such a horrid thing?

I tried one more wash with about a quart of bleach. Some pieces came out a little better, but my son was going to need a whole new set of uniform shirts. Good thing he has gym tomorrow, and will need a white shirt for only one more day before Easter vacation. He was growing out of that size anyway, I further reasoned, trying to mentally minimize my loss.

Today is the traditional day to go to confession before Easter, and I thought my laundry problem could physically represent the need to have our sins washed away by the Blood of Jesus. We can do all the good works we like to wash our dirty laundry but only He can take those red stripes of sin away. By His Stripes we are healed.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrightousness.”
I John 1:9

Painting above:
No. 33 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 17. Flagellation
Fresco, 200 x 185 cm
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua


Angie said...

Oh man -- I really hate that! I can't stand clothes like that (the white underwear with a red waist band), or something like a navy and hunter green striped shirt with a white collar. Who thinks of these things???

Loren Christie said...

That's an interesting, and good metaphor (dirty laundry and sins)! I once encountered a similar problem with a pen my husband left in his shirt. The shirt made it all the way to the dryer. Unfortunately, my dryer was not as merciful as God. The ink ruined most of the clothes. -Loren