Yesterday, I shared how our family was welcomed by a backyard party the first full day we were in Guatemala last month.
On the way to this party, we walked by the village “washing machine”. It wasn’t what you would expect. The “washing machine” was a concrete basin filled with water surrounded by smaller concrete stations where village women brought dirty clothes for washing. They poured water from the basin over the clothing and rubbed the clothing with soap across the concrete basin bottom. The clothing was literally stone washed. And then water was poured back over the clothing to rinse them.
Can you imagine washing your clothes this way?
This weekend, I did a couple of loads of laundry for our family. I confess that this is not part of my normal routine in our house (my wife does a great job with this for which I’m extremely grateful). I sorted the clothes into two piles – lights and darks. I turned on the washing machine and added liquid detergent. Then I loaded the dirty clothing in and closed the lid. Within twenty minutes and with very little effort, I had clean clothing ready to be put in the dryer.
We complain about household chores like washing clothes and washing the dishes. Yet we have modern machines that do most of the work for us. Our trip to Guatemala was definitely a reminder of how good we have it here in America.
Whether it’s loading a modern washing machine or bringing your clothes to a Guatemalan laundry mat, washing clothes is a part of most cultures. We want to look clean – at least on the outside.
But it’s not just the outside that needs cleaning. We all have junk in the trunk. We all need cleaning on the inside. In Psalm 51, King David reflects on a need and desire for a clean heart.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
David wrote this after he committed adultery with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba. I don’t know what sin you’re carrying around with you. Maybe it’s gossip. Maybe you’re judgemental. Whatever junk you’re dealing with, God can restore you. He is the Ultimate Washing Machine.
What modern convenience do you take for granted?
Don’t answer this one in the comments but to yourself, what sin are you struggling with that needs to come before the Ultimate Washing Machine?