Posted by: karanoel | September 13, 2014

Spotless

IMG_9098Oh the dilemma. A wedding dress of such elegance. Mine, in fact. It clothed me so beautifully that joyful day; its silky under-self brushing my legs beneath the embrace of delicate lace. I loved it from the start. Throughout my wedding day, I was followed by its understated train – walking down the grass aisle to marry my best friend; dancing on hardwood floors, and taking photographs as man and wife on train tracks and sand; dashing across blackened pavement to be whisked off on our glorious honeymoon.

Having no further need for my beautiful gown, I wanted to share it with another bride. But having been dragged along every earthly surface, the dress was dirty; pig-pen dirty. I knew it should be professionally cleaned, but there was the cost. And the hassle. And, as time went on, a diminishing hope of the dirt coming out. So it remained in a garment bag amidst winter coats, suitcases and toilet paper. Every few months, it would be recovered from the closet, briefly contemplated and, since no one in their right mind would want a filthy wedding dress, returned to its home in the closet.

A few days ago, after nearly three years of marriage, I once again retrieved the dress. And once again I felt the shame of not having cleaned it. I could not bring myself to sell it or even give it away in that condition. So I prayed a simple prayer for wisdom and inspected the offending section yet again. With little to lose by a feeble attempt to clean the darn thing myself, I pooled the fabric in my hands beneath a slim stream of water.

To my great surprise and delight, without an ounce of effort, three-year old dirt yielded immediately to the water and filled the sink with its murky brownness. A few spots demanded gentle scrubbing. And the wee bit on the lace required an especially gentle touch. But it came clean. Beautifully clean. I cannot stop looking at its loveliness as it hangs in my room. My heart is glad to know that I can now grace someone else with this dress I love so much.

The experience demonstrated so tangibly how we, created for such beauty and glory, get sullied when we walk on this earth. At times our minds will be dragged along the pavement, darkening our understanding. Our hearts will get bumped along train tracks, leaving them bruised and battered. Sand will become embedded in our circumstances, causing friction and frustration. Splinters will enter our relationships, creating division and, if left, festering resentment. It is easy to accept these things as permanent damage, like a stain on who we are, especially when “too much” time has passed or when the dirt is “too deep” to remove. The temptation is to throw it all back into a dark closet and get on with life. After all, you can’t just throw a tormented mind or broken heart into the washer with some Tide.

But we will find that God is not daunted by a little dirt. Or a lot. As we lay our lives before the water of His word and the purity of His love, what seems to be irreversible damage will be washed away. With gentle kindness, he will tend to every part until we are perfectly cleansed and restored. Not only will we regard ourselves with delight as we radiate with His beauty, but we will bless others with what He has done for us and invite them to shower in His goodness.

“…just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:26-27


Responses

  1. That was worth waiting for! Can’t wait to hear the life story of the next girl to be the blessed in the wearing of the beautiful dress.

    • Hope it’s as sweet a story as mine! 🙂

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  2. Sweet Kara,

    What sweet words of our Savior’s grace and loving forgiveness. How thankful we are that The Lord has given you these insights into His character. Blessings dear one,

    pam

  3. Thank you Pam! He is so good. Bless you too. xoxo


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