Every morning, my son Caleb’s house is either a haven of harmony or a riot. With three boys, two of whom are in school, getting up, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, washing faces, packing lunches, gathering books and a last-minute wrestling match before heading out to the car can be quite a challenge.
Some morning things go as planned, and then there are those “other days” when a sock can’t be found, a cereal bowl crashes to the floor and books are lost along with the shoe that loves to play hide and seek. If you have children, you can add about a hundred of other things that cause such delays.
Not long ago, their family had one of those days when everything that could have gone wrong did. Adrian, Caleb’s wife, was looking forward to Caleb taking Titus the Honorable and Cohen the Goodhearted to school. As they pulled out of the driveway, a quietness settled over the home. She began the daily task of straightening out a house that has been rearranged by three Tasmanian devils. As she gathered the clothes, she thought, “How can a 7-, 5- and 2- plus a 41-year-old go through so many clothes in just one day?”
The laundry room is the place where Adrian feels overworked and less appreciated. It is a never-ending cycle with a small family. It is the place where she takes dirty, muddy and usually stinky clothes and transforms them into respectable wear.
As she was carrying her first load to the laundry room, she noticed something unusual: A small green sticky note pressed against the white enamel of the washer. As she leaned forward and squinted, she recognized it as the scratching of a first-grader: “I LOVE YOU MOM, from TiTus.”
This was Titus the Honorable’s first love note to his mom. He has told his mom many times that he loved her, but this was the first time he secretly wrote her a note on his own initiative. Suddenly, the laundry room was no longer a place of drudgery. That little note transformed it into a love palace.
Way to go, my little friend! I am so proud of you. In your thoughtfulness, you have done something that will bless your mom for years to come. She has saved the note and is going to put it in a frame and hang it up — guess where? You got it: the laundry room.
You have transformed a room of hard work into a place where she will go when she is worn out and feeling unappreciated just to look at your note. It won’t be read just once; my guess is that she will read it a thousand times before you get out of high school.
You’re a smart kid; you knew exactly where to put that note that would be the most effective. You have seen your mom laboring, carrying huge loads each day to that machine. What you did reminds me that there is a parallel in the Scriptures.
First, we all have “dirty laundry;” the Bible calls it sin. Rom. 3:23 tell us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Sin separates us from God. And that is why Jesus had to die on the cross, so our sins/dirty laundry can be washed away. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
God had a love note for us, and He put it on a cross in the form of His Son Jesus Christ. The cross is where all the dirty laundry/sins of the world have come together, so that Jesus could take on our sin and we could have a relationship with a holy God.
Ever since that day, whoever wants to be cleansed of their sins can come to Him. It’s as if God put His love note in the laundry room of life. And not only that, but God reminds us that love can also allow us to love even those who still have dirty laundry in their hearts.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4:8). Love lets you focus on the person, not the dirt.
Titus, you have joined your dad in blessing your mom. You have seen him preforming so many acts of kindness for her, and you have a good role model in him. Now, if you could just show your younger brothers a little more of that love, maybe you could get out of the front door for school with a little less hassle.