Monday, June 10, 2013


It started off as a perfectly normal wash cycle. Nothing about that particular load of clothes in the washing machine ever portended the ensuing disaster. And then, when the buzzer sounded to alert us that our clothes were ready to put in the dryer, everything changed.

My micropellet pillow, which is "safely washable", had exploded in the machine. Millions of teeny tiny micropellets were strewn into every stitch of every wardrobe piece. The washing machine was covered in minuscule white pellets, staticky, impossible to clean off, tiny white pellets in every damp and inaccessible rubber o-ring, nook and cranny.

No paper towel or sponge would clean them up. They stuck like glue to the machine, and the clothes. There were literally millions of them, and it appeared they would have to be tweezered off one by one. Option #2: throw out the machine and the entire load of clothes...though to do that we would have to break down a wall since the pantry had been built up since the machine went in, and it was doubtful it was ever coming out. I scrubbed for half an hour to no avail. The pellets were impossibly a part of the machine now. I could not, in my own power, remove them.

What an irony. The dirty clothes that we had put in to be washed came out in worse condition than they had gone in, covered with micropellets. I began shaking each piece of clothing vigorously to dislodge the contaminants, and thought this whole attempt at restoration was impossible. It reminded me of a verse our Sunday school class had discussed, about how were were "dead in our trangressions" but made alive through Christ's redemptive work. The class noted that there is a very simple but powerful truth about being dead. You cannot make yourself alive. It is impossible in your own power to do so. In Christ alone could our transgressions be removed, and we would no longer be separated from a completely holy and righteous God. It was a gift of God and accomplished only through Him once we believed He would and could do it. A higher power was necessary.

"I believe a VACUUM CLEANER could accomplish this task!" I thought. It took first me, and then my husband to negotiate the vacuum cleaner in the tight laundry room space such that the hose could reach the appropriate nooks and crannies, but in the end, it worked. And after drying the clothes, the micropellets lost their grip and tumbled away. Our clothes were clean at last.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9 NASB)

-save a dog-

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