Whoops… bummer. I looked into my purse the other day to find this. My purple ink pen had leaked all over my handkerchief. I keep a hanky in there instead of tissues for those moments when you have a tear or need to blow your nose real quick. This one is special because it has a white embroidered cross on it and I got it when one of my children was baptized. I thought it was ruined, but the stains and the cross got me thinking…
I went and got the cleaning products out. Thank goodness the hanky was white because I didn’t know what else to do but to soak it in bleach.
While I was sitting there praying the bleach would work, this verse came to my mind. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Isaiah 64:6 I of course did not remember the entire verse by heart so I looked it up, but I thought wow! When we do something good, we’re proud of what we’ve done, but this passage says that even our best, most noble works are like “dirty rags” when it comes to earning us a place in heaven–they’re useless and good for nothing. They’re certainly not enough to bring us into a right relationship with God–for that, we need Christ.
After a few hours in some bleach, this is what my hanky looked like. The stained hanky was a lot like what our hearts are like before we have Christ to make us clean. Now my hanky looked just as white as when I got it. Just like when Christ comes into our lives and washes away our sins so we can be free and clean. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me that day and accepting my filthy rags just the way I am. And thank you for making me clean!