A while back, this nice girl came into the Hallmark store where I was working and asked me for some creamy beige or taupe colored ribbon, and she began to tell me about her wedding, and her color palette of soft cream and gray and pale pink and taupe.  And I reflected, again, on how beautiful that French neutral and pastel color palette is, and how elegant and understated and expensive that sort of thing can look.

Somewhat less elegant of late, though, has been my propensity to spill hot chocolate, or coffee, or ______ (whatever it is, I always drink it hot—) onto my clean self, and that within five minutes of being out of the house, no less.  Sigh.  My husband has taken to laughing when he sees me with a beverage in my hands, and when he bought me a nice, beautiful new car for my birthday, he said, “You’re not bringing hot chocolate in here….”

hot chocolate with whipped cream

Imagine his moanings the first time my hot chocolate splashed onto the doorframe  (for he is kind-hearted, and most assuredly did he relent of his laughing warnings), and his, “but….but….our new car….”

(The way he courted me was to buy me hot chocolate and sweaters in July.  It worked.  I have always been cold in the air conditioning.)

Some months afterward, I finally had an epiphany:


coffee with cream

That way, no one will know, right?

I won’t have to look like a five-year-old who played with too many markers.

And I won’t have to try to figure out ways to wear my sweater all day buttoned up at exactly buttons number three and four, to hid the stain on my left shoulder from public view, as I shouldn’t like to lower myself in that estimable quality.  Right?



latte on counter


Actually, although I carry in my mind the ideal of looking like the Bride of Christ, as pictured in Revelations, “like a bride prepared for her Husband, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing,”  it is very, very difficult to exist for long in this very dirty world without acquiring dirt and smut and smudges of some sort, however vehemently I may strive to avoid such accidents.


…..”what can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus,

what can make me pure again,

nothing but the Blood of Jesus,

oh, precious is the flow

that makes me white as snow,

nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

When I get coffee and hot chocolate on my clothes, I put a cupful of “Biz” enzyme detergent powder into the washer as it’s filling with the hottest water I can procure from it, and after the stuff is dissolved, I add white or light-colored clothing, turn the washer off, and let the whole business soak overnight (or maybe several days!!), and that usually takes the stain out.  If it doesn’t, repeat the process until it does!!

But the Bible describes Christ as wearing linen clothing “whiter than snow, …..whiter than any launderer on earth can whiten them…” and it speaks of the saints in heaven as being “clothed in fine linen, white and clean…..which is the good deeds of the saints,”  and it also admonishes, at the end of the Bible, that we should “wash [our] robes and make them clean in the Blood of the Lamb, that [we] may have the right to enter into that [heavenly] City….”

Who doesn’t want to enter Paradise Found?

None of us can, though, after traipsing through this coffee-stained, muddy-colored and dirty world, unless we wash our robes in the Blood of the Lamb and make them clean.

Oh, to enter that heavenly city….

“What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the Blood of Jesus…

What can make me clean again?  Nothing but the Blood of Jesus….”

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