Last April, I bought a new love-seat – a white one. I knew that I was taking a risk in buying white furniture, but it seemed like a reasonable risk since I don’t yet have any children or pets. And, until last week, I was right.
Last Tuesday, I hosted my fellowship group for dinner at my Upper West Side apartment - a space that can seem quite small with eight women cramped inside. While sharing stories from the past week, I placed my half-full glass of red wine on the floor beside my white couch. As one of the women was shimmying by the couch, she didn’t see the glass and knocked it over in such a way that the wine splattered across the side of my white couch.
Immediately, the team assembled – some went out to secure reinforcements (Shout Gel), some stayed to apply club soda, and some stayed to offer moral support. We managed to get it wet enough so that it appeared that our effort had been successful. But, I woke up the next morning to find that the stain was still there – only it was purple rather than red!
Thankfully, when I decided to get a white loveseat, I bought the kind with a slipcover. So, I threw the slipcover in a plastic bag and charted off to my neighborhood drycleaners. When I arrived, I placed the soiled piece on the counter in front of the clerk. She kindly scolded me for having tried to get out the stain myself and said, “You made it harder for us to get out the original stain. Now, it is even deeper inside the fabric.”
As I walked through the Park that morning, I reflected on how much the experience mirrored the gospel – the stained white couch was like sinful ol’ me and God was like the drycleaners. In Revelation 7:14, John writes,
He said, “[The ones in white robes] are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
I have spots that I cannot remove; in fact, all my efforts only turn them from red to purple! But, the blood of Jesus - his death and resurrection – have cleansed me so that my heavenly robe will be a spotless white. Now, what’s even more interesting, is that there are (at least) two significant differences between the drycleaners and Jesus that highlight even more aspects of the gospel: (1) the clerk said that I made the stain “harder” to get out - but Jesus considered it “joy” to endure the cross because he knew it meant that he would have a relationship with me, and (2) the drycleaners uses typical cleansing products to remove stains – but Jesus used his blood to clean our stains!
What else can you see in this picture of the gospel?