Tuesday, January 8, 2008

BACON BITS >> Clothespins

Out back of my house, there is a clothesline. When we don’t want to be stifled by the heat of the dryer, we put our wet clothes there. On strong summer days when the sun beats down on backs and a stiff breeze blows, we pin up jeans and tees, dresses and shirts, to be whipped about and dried in God’s dryer. We bunch small corners of the clothing and pinch them onto the line with wooden clothespins. Along the green wire line, thirty clothespins stand at attention, holding tight to the fabric its job is to hold on to, to keep from falling below.

Out back of my house, there is a clothesline. Clothesline does more than just dry clothes. It’s the net for a game of volleyball in my Pop Pop’s backyard, but it’s so much more than that, too. Today, I sit on the stoop, the sun seeping its heat into my t-shirt, not drying today but drenching my skin. I feel sadness in my heart over the trials that afflict me and mine, and I gaze upon the clothesline. Wire wrapped in green, stiff plastic. An empty clothesline. Clothespins standing at attention yet they do not protect clothing. There hasn’t been a stitch of clothing gripped in their grasps for years.

Out back of my house, there is a clothesline. It doesn’t hold clothes, but in a golden, summer flash, I realize something about that clothesline. It mirrors life. It mirrors God’s love for us and that He is there even when we think He is not. As a clothespin holds fast to fabric, God holds fast to us, keeping us from falling below. You ever hang up a shirt on a line? Notice how the fabric droops between the two clothespins? That’s our happiness drooping. That’s our pain. That’s our fear that God is not there to help us. But notice how the fabric rises and the clothespins cinch the fabric. They gather the fabric from its drooping and protect it from within their clasps as if to say, I am here. I will not forsake you. I love you.

Out back of my house, there is a clothesline. An ordinary, empty, wire wrapped in green stiff plastic clothesline. Weathered wooden clothespins stand at attention. It is these things, at this time in my life, that filter God through me. If God can be seen in such ordinary things for me, what things can He be seen in for you?

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