My deepest revelations usually come while doing the most mundane tasks. Washing the dishes. Cooking. Driving. I suspect that God uses moments when my brain is least active (crowded?) to enlighten me. This particular day was no exception. I was in my hometown, Louisville, Kentucky, in the guest bedroom/gym/storage space of my parent’s house, and preparing for a book signing.
After showering, I began ironing the all black outfit I was going to wear (because you can’t go wrong with all black, right?). Unfortunately, my packing skills suck big time and so the super fly, wide-legged pants I was going to wear looked more like a newborn with its million wrinkles.
As I waited for the iron to get hot, I grew anxious. Why? Because #1 – I hate to iron, #2 – I’m not very good at ironing, #3 – the pants looked like they needed a steam roller, not my mom’s simple, albeit quality, Black and Decker. But I didn’t give up on those hopeless looking pants.
I started by putting water in the iron because as a transplant to the northeast years ago, I learned that starch is apparently a southern thing. Who knew? Plus, I didn’t want to risk having that white flaky residue.
Next, I turned up the heat on the iron as high as it could possibly go without burning the fabric and began ironing. Lightly, at first. With more pressure, later. It was only after watching each wrinkle smooth out, one by one, that I heard the Voice whisper softly in my spirit.
“You are like those pants.”
Okay, I’m nuts because my first thought was, “They’re black. So am I?” (insert appropriate laughter here)
Then, I totally got it.
I am wrinkled. Flawed. Even sinful at times. In some areas of my life, the number of wrinkles I have make me seem hopeless. But I’m grateful that God doesn’t see me that way.
But those wrinkles still must be removed.
He starts with water. That’s His word. I’m super sensitive so His word acts as a barrier between me and what’s coming next. Like starch on my pants, there are certainly other things God could use. But He cares about the residue that these things might be left behind.
Then comes the heat. Not too much though. No more than the fabric of my life can bear. Just enough to remove the wrinkles and restore me to my original design.
Oh, wait…the pressure.
See, I’m stubborn sometimes. The heat alone is not always enough. I have some deep “wrinkles” for sure. Some are even ones I got because, just like haphazardly packing my outfit, I was careless or rebellious.
At face value, the water, heat, and pressure seem harsh on the fabric (and our lives). But this is exactly what we all need to straighten out our wrinkles and present ourselves well before God and humankind.
Sure, we can accomplish some things in life with a few wrinkles in tow (and I believe the grace of God allows for that). And I could have gone to the signing in wrinkled pants. But neither my signing nor our destinies are really about us. It’s about the people we impact. Wrinkles (whether on pants or in life) can be a distraction. They might even reflect poorly on the God we claim to represent.
Why would we ever want to risk that?
So the next time you are ironing and watching all these elements work wonders on your laundry, think about what it all means. With our clothes, it’s just science. In our lives, it’s a miracle.