wash: Red Letter Challenge

Don’t tell my wife, but I secretly like that she frequently changes out the foamy soaps at our house. Truth be told, I don’t always wait for her to do it. Sometimes, I dig into the treasure trove of scents and switch them out all on my own.

It’s funny really. I can remember a time when a bar of soap sat in a little dish next to the faucets in my house. What with these foamy soaps and shower gels and body washes, the only time I get around a bar of soap is if I’m staying at a hotel (and we haven’t been doing too much of that lately). And while the bars of soap that live in my memory did have scents, the most exotic I remember is Irish Spring, and having never been to Ireland in the spring or any other time, I had to take their word that the soap was a good approximation.

Here’s the thing about these foamy soaps (equally true for those old bars), the way they smell doesn’t have anything to do with how well they clean, and that’s the purpose of soap.

When I wash, I want to get clean. Wash clothes…are they clean? Wash hands…are they clean? Wash a car…is it clean? By covering up what stinks (dirt, bacteria, etc.), the smelly part can actually get in the way of doing what the soap is meant to do. It smells good, so it must be clean, right? Not always true.

Where am I going with all this soap talk?

I’m wondering about Lent being a chance for me to realize how “dirty” I am; to recognize my brokenness and sin. Could this be the season I admit I may wash with a bazillion foamy soaps of my own creation and never get clean? How do I avoid being one of those white-washed tombs Jesus warns about? (Matthew 23:27-28)

Maybe I will finally let Jesus wash my feet, because if he washes me, I will be made whole and restored, renewed and refreshed. Maybe I will take up my own towel and basin and wash the feet of another, so they too can experience this restoring, renewing, refreshing grace. (John 13:1-17)

It probably won’t hurt if I use “Life Is A Peach” or “Sweet Bunny Berry,” so long as I remember it is not the soap, but the love of Christ which washes us clean.

Life is better together,
Shawn

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