This is another piece that came initially as a picture. We were in worship one Sunday, and I could vividly see the beginning of the following scene play out before me in my head. As I began to write down what I saw, the rest of this came flowing out.
What I did NOT know at that point was that a friend of mine was going to stand up at the front during the announcements section of the meeting and her and husband were to publically recommit. She had not told me she was going to do that, hadn't hinted at it or anything of the sort. I had NO IDEA! And so, when she did, we knew this was a God thing.
I can see a woman standing over a huge washtub, desperately rubbing this fabric up and down a washboard.
“I MUST get it clean”, she’s crying, “I have to.”
She’s desperate, helpless, the stains won’t come out, there’s nothing she can do.
“I can’t wear it like THIS!” she says as she falls in a heap on the floor.
What’s in the washtub? Her wedding dress. Soiled, damaged, ripped and dirty.
How could she ever hope to get it clean, to get it ready, to make it “good enough”. It had been many years, and many stains, she had no hope of ever making it right.
In hopelessness she cried out to the only one who could make it clean.
Take this dress,
Take this mess
That was our marriage.
Lord, You’ve done so much already.
Dare I ask this one thing more?
Make me clean.
Take away this stain.”
Gently, lovingly, He took her hand.
“I’ve been waiting.
Waiting for this moment of desperation.
Waiting for you to know that I am the only one who can remove this stain, take away this hurt.”
He took her hand and lifted her to stand.
“Come look again.”
He lifted out the gown.
Still, there were the stains, but now they were changing. They joined, they merged as He touched them. As He ran his hand over this filthy rotten gown, it became a pattern on the fabric.
A beautiful pattern that even the greatest designer could not have come up with.
“I cannot take away what has already happened,
But I can treat the stain, heal the hurt, take the pain.”
“Take it!" He said, holding the dress out to her "Go, try it on."
She grasped the dress out of His hands, she ran to the next room and put on that dress.
When she returned, she was truly beautiful. She twirled about the room, radiant, beautiful, clothed in God’s love, His forgiveness, His healing.
Now you are ready.
Ready to change hearts and lives.
Change whole cities, whole nations,
Because now you walk in a gown that is clean,
Truly clothed in my righteousness.
You have a job to do out there my dear child."
"But, I’ll get it dirty again!"
"Yes, I know, but now you know, now you are learning, how to get it clean again."
Kristina Daley (with creative commons permission)
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