As I was loading my washing machine full of clothes over the weekend,I became very grateful that I had the privilege and convenience of a machine rather than having to hand wash my clothes, or worse still, hand wash them down by a river.
But as I thought more about the river washing, my mind filled with an amazing vision of a buzzing community, women of all ages (yes, I know, I’m being sexist. Sorry. Now please get over it and keep reading) laughing, chatting and sharing advice as they cleaned their dirty clothes together. The older women telling life stories, and the younger women soaking up the wisdom being dispensed.
I live in a western world where my life is filled with the abundant blessings of convenience, but I’m realising it’s come at a price. A high price.
We are so disconnected, so edited.
Unless we choose to, we don’t really have to show anyone our dirty washing. They don’t have to see our shameful stains and saggy baggy granny undies, they don’t have to smell those dirty sport socks or see those pants with the extended elastic waist.
We present to each other, clean, crisp, fresh and pretty smelling selves.
All our dirty laundry is dealt with in private.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
If I’m struggling with something that I’m ashamed of, no one ever needs to find out. I really don’t have to tell anyone unless I choose to.
But…what if I did tell?
What if I share my struggle with someone else who is also dealing with their dirty laundry?
What if they’ve come across my same situation before and they have master tips in stain removal?
What if I’ve encountered their struggle and I have the expert insight, understanding and compassion that they’re needing?
What if by showing people the dirt I’m trying to hide, it leads to deeper friendships, more authentic connections?
We are on an incredible journey, we are learning and hopefully growing everyday. Why not do it together?
Yep, it’s gonna be hard in the beginning. Vulnerability isn’t comfortable.
Not many of us are proud of the crap in our lives, but we’ve all got it. It just looks and smells different for most of us, but it’s still crap.
“What if I get hurt?”, you ask?
People are imperfect. People make mistakes, that’s part of their dirty laundry. Yours too.
But if we’re committed to covenant relationships, where God is at the centre of everything we do, He is our focal point and the place we keep coming back to, the relationships are going to be easier.
We were not created to journey alone, having to hide all our imperfections. We were created for community. Real authentic, genuine, organic community.
We are relational, it’s at the very core of who we are and how we’re wired.
For me personally, openess comes naturally, for others it does not. I get that, I really do. But most things that require effort are well worth the reward that follows.
One of my best friends, Kerry, who is also my prayer ministry partner, recently came up with a great acronym. She said; “I wanna be HOT! Honest Open Transparent!”
And you know what? I wanna be HOT too!
Let’s be a bunch of HOTties, doing life together and sharing with one another our stains, and the stain removal victories that Father God gives us along the way!
I’ll show you my dirty laundry and you show me yours. Let’s do this together.