I don’t know, something about white that shouts…. CLEAN!!!!!
So, I brought with me to Africa my set of 1500 thread count Egyptian Cotton WHITE King size sheets, the white duvet cover, duvet, and about 20 soft white wash cloths.
Did I mention I am living in Africa, in Kenya, in a village up a mountain in the Highlands where there are TWO fantastic raining seasons with lots and lots of red mud. There is no running water, no electricity and no washing machines.
But – not to alarm. I have created a system. Before I get into my white linen bed, I use up to three, maybe four washcloths and I scrub from head to toe… beginning with my face and ending with the soles of my feet. I try to scrub until my white wash cloth, well, still resembles white. It’s a pretty disgusting procedure. I had no idea.
I then toss them into a white bucket with soapy bleach water. After a few days, I drain the water, take a soap bar and rub it over both sides of the cloth and toss it back into the bucket, filling with about a cup of bleach and boiling hot water.
Then, I take a long wooden spoon and begin to stir the clothes while making ever effort to simulate the agitator in my Maytag back home. I stir for as long as my weak American arms can handle, drain, fill and do again. This is repeated for TWO DAYS!!!
THEN, the cloths need to be rubbed. I use a rubber cutting board and it seems to work well. Flipping sides and using the soap bar again, the board acts as a, I don’t know, wash board???
It’s all quite the process. And I must say, each night as I scrub my face, and scour my extremities, I am really, well, basically grossed out at how filthy I am.
When the young man that helps us, Evans, was involved in this process recently, he turned and said to me, “Mrs. Kari, you should buy brown wash clothes”. My first thought was – boy, are you right. But then, without thinking I answered him, “but then I wouldn’t know if I were clean.”
As I’ve been studying God’s Word lately and in this personal reflective state, it dawned on me… what a picture!
If I am measuring myself by standards such as – how others act, what others do and don’t do, if my standard is the lives of other people and it is THIS standard by which I measure how my life is being lived… well I might as well be washing my face with a brown washcloth. I might even reuse the one I used last night…. YUCK! GROSS! DISGUSTING! NEVER!!!!!
You see, it’s not until I measure my life, my actions and reactions, my love, my kindness, my patience, my gentleness, my joy, my peace… not until I measure these things by the standard GOD has set – that of JESUS CHRIST… that I see just how dirty I am.
OH Lord Jesus…
Wash me thoroughly…
And I shall be whiter than snow!!!