Sunday after church, I had a church council meeting. Even though lunch is provided, I don’t normally eat AT the meeting; I wait until AFTER the meeting to ravenously scarf up any remnants of the lunch that remained. Though this usually works for me, (in that I survive it,) it really doesn’t work for me, as the chances of me ending up hangry after a full day of church, lots of people interactions, & a church council meeting, all done without a meal, are about 99.44 out of 100%.
So this week, to the rejoicing of theBean, I chose to eat lunch during the council meeting, at the same time everyone else was eating. And the food was so good – mini-cuban & mini-roast beef slider-sandwiches baked, casserole style, using King’s Hawaiian rolls.
Somewhere in the midst of the meeting, eating, talking, & multi-tasking, I found a way to get a noticeable sized amount of au jus on my left pant leg, probably from an overzealous dipping of the roast beef into the au jus, & even though I’d tried to rush the food into my mouth, some of it, the juicy part, had gotten on my pants. No worries; I’d take care of it at home.
We’d (meaning theBean) made the au jus using lots of fat & drippings & yummy goodness, so I wanted to make sure when it came time to wash my pants I did the appropriate amount of “pre-treatment” on the au jus stain so it would actually come out of the pants, & not serve as an indelible mark, a visible reminder of both that lunch & also my propensity to miss my mouth when I’m eating.
- NOTE: TheBean offered to help me (translation: do it for me) but, hey, I’m in the 4th grade, (Dan in Real Life reference) so I figured I’d handle it myself.
- NOTE 2: I was watching the 49ers/Eagles game, so I maaay have hurried through the application of the Spray & Wash (though I am 50% sure I sprayed the spray on the correct spot on the correct leg)
At some point during the game I heard the washer stop so I ran & very responsibly, threw the clothes into the dryer & rushed back to the game before the commercial ended.
- NOTE 3: I have DVR. I could have pressed the “PAUSE” button & taken my time, but instead I did it, 70s style.
- NOTE 4: TheBean asked if I had checked the pant leg to make sure the spot had come out in the wash. I distinctly remember telling her, “I didn’t need to because I treated the pant leg.” Who’s a great big boy?!
In the aftermath of the 49ers total domination of the Eagles, I decided to pull my clothes from the dryer & fold them as I watched highlights of the game I’d just watched, beginning to end. (Anybody else do that?)
When I went to fold my pants I decided to admire my handiwork… And I discovered that the au jus spot was still there. In all its glory. Oh no. Even I know what happens when you dry clothes that have stains in them; you set the stains in the clothes, FOREVER. My favorite pants. Forever to be marked by a very visible reminder of some really great au jus.
TheBean said she’d try to look at them for me later, but I wasn’t holding out much hope.
TheBean opened at work the next morning so I was left to my own devices. I sat staring at my stained pants, wondering, thinking, pondering…
Soon my thoughts weren’t on my pants; I was thinking about sin & the mark it can leave in our lives… & how our best efforts to ‘clean up’ the mess left behind through our actions (intentional or otherwise) are woefully inadequate. And how its only the blood of Jesus that takes away, washes away, truly cleanses us from all of our sin.
And I had an idea – I decided to try Dawn PowerWash mixed with Spray & Wash on both the inside of the pant leg & the outside. I liberally applied both substances to the pants while crying out to Jesus about the state of my pants (but it really seemed like it was about more than that, like my soul was involved too.)
I put the pants into the washer, said one last prayer, & started the wash.
45 minutes later, I pulled the pants out of the washer & checked the pant leg for the stain.
I checked the other leg, thinking I must have looked at the wrong one.
I didn’t trust it enough to put it into the dryer, so I hung the pants on our stair railing & left for work.
When theBean & I arrived home late that evening, I rushed upstairs to check on my mostly dry pants to see if the stain was still visible… it was not. Every trace was gone. Couldn’t even tell where it had been. There was great rejoicing.
And again thoughts of sin & forgiveness crossed my mind, along with the hymn “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus.”
Scripture verses sprang to mind as I heard the reminders of God’s goodness, in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, of the promise of forgiveness of sins; not just some of them, or most of them, or parts of them… ALL of them.
And I wept with thankfulness. Not just about my pants. But about my soul too.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
If we confess our sins, He is faithful & just to forgive us our sins & to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9