The recliner had been ours for twenty-five or thirty years. Like us, it was now showing its wear: drooping stuffing, a spot rubbed through the leather, joints working loose, the back support giving out. Every time my husband plunked down in it, his special chair, I was thankful its frame held firm. Somehow in its slow demise it was still sturdy. It was a comfy restful place to read, watch the tube, and hold a pile of grandkids. The deep burgundy leather cradled one’s whole being, the winged back sides affording extra built-in head support. Just push on the arms, lean back, and voila! Blissfulness. Until lately.
On a lark hubby and I walked into our favorite furniture clearance center, instantly drawn to the only burgundy recliner in the place…the right color, great price, super supportive, comfortable, our favorite brand, and a rocker feature to boot. We bought it that day. Like dominos continuing to fall in order, delivery the next week allowed for timely carpet cleaning beforehand, and arrangements for a nonprofit to pick up the old well-loved chair.
As we moved the old recliner a red stain in the cream colored carpet beneath it came to light, most likely moisture from the previous carpet cleaning leaching color from one leg. No problem. Surely it would come out, or the new recliner would cover it. The cleaning guy worked his best on the stain, yet it persisted. Certainly something more could be done to erase it.
The next morning the stain dared me to blot it out. A glowing blushing pink smack dab in front of the new chair screamed, “Look at me!” After an hour of focused work with a plethora of cleaning concoctions the blush faded some, but no matter my efforts, the stain was still visible. Perhaps as a “memory spot” it could be a reminder of small children dwarfed in the recliner’s massive leather arms, relishing time in Papa’s chair. Of dear hubby’s enjoyment of naps there; his sitting during many conversations with family and friends; our times of reflection, him with his feet up, me nearby on the couch. I sat in the old chair alone in the dark the last night it was ours remembering so many things, feeling like one of the kids in the chair’s embrace. Solid and secure. So many treasured memories… Mom reclining in it when she visited. So fleeting the passage of time.
Even so, I really did not like seeing that left-over stubborn stain. What if the stain never came out? How to live with an eyesore that refused to be remedied? What if there was nothing humanly possible I could do to make it clean again? Would others judge “my” stain? That thought brought to mind the problem of personal stains and sin. Even traits that appear good can leave unwanted taints in our lives. Interesting how imperfections and the unlovely, ugly sides of us can become so glaring. Subtle things that will not stay buried. Hidden things that come to the surface. Little or big things that mar a person. Perhaps I will miraculously find a final remedy to wash that carpet stain away. If not, like a scar on a lovely face, hopefully it will fade over time.
What about the final solution to remedy one’s soul’s personal stains of wounds, hurts, wrongs, bothersome marring things? Yes, one can put forth effort to improve oneself, but what of those stubborn things that prove o’er and o’er we need deeper help? I have found that Jesus is the perfect solution to wash clean all that defiles, to rid us of our staining sins, visible and invisible, that we can no way humanly correct no matter how hard we try. Being that final miraculous answer that wipes sin away, He is in the business of cleansing us and leading us into healing… wholly!
Psalms 51:1-2 NKJV “Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.”
1 Peter 2:24 “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
Acts 23:16 “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’”