It’s Monday. In the non-camp world, that means a whole host of things (as whined about here, reflected on here, celebrated here). In the 5-day-week-Wyldlife-camp world it doesn’t mean all that much. Unless it happens to fall on Day 3 in which case it means workcrew wash day.
At Michindoh, we have a trim and lean work staff of 23- just 15 Servers in the dining hall, 4 Special Project Peeps in the outdoors, indoors, and everywhere else, 3 in Retail, and 1 Sound Tech.
We have no laundry crew. But we sure do have laundry. Even after just 3 days of camp life.
So today Christina and I hoisted a stack of laundry bags into the car trunk, drove around to the other side of the lake whence is found the laundry facility, and started in on what should have been an easy task for two seasoned laundry veterans.
And it would have been easy except for this: lots of the clothes weren’t labelled with the owner’s initials (camp laundry rule #1) so we had to, you know, keep track of which bag the clothes came out of. And one of the dryers was down for repairs so we had to, well, wait for the other three power-operated-with-five-optional-settings dryers to keep pace with the four similarly power-operated-with-infinite-settings washing machines. Plus the room was terribly hot and humid so we had to, um, sit outside in the fresh air beside the pine grove while we visited and read and journaled during the wash- and rinse- and spin-cycles.
You can just imagine what a terrifically challenging task the whole thing was for, er, two seasoned laundry veterans.
The day wasn’t really about broken dryers or stuffy laundry rooms or un-initialed clothes (maybe it was a little bit about that). It was about washing clothes clean. Of course, it wasn’t really even about washing clothes clean since Christina and I didn’t actually have to wash anything – we just had to dump stuff into one machine, transfer it to another machine, fold it, and put it back into the appropriate mesh laundry bag.
Cleaning clothes takes almost no work at all, even if the clothes are really dirty and especially if the clothes are barely dirty.
But whether barely or really dirty, the clothes do both need cleaning. They both go into the same machine. They both go through the same cycles. They both get agitated back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and also around and around and around.
It costs the same to wash the clothes that are really dirty as it does to wash the clothes that are barely dirty. The machine doesn’t charge more for the really dirty clothes – nor does it charge less for the barely dirty clothes.
Really dirty and barely dirty are in fact both dirty, both not clean, both in need of washing.
In that hot, humid, one-dryer-down laundry room, standing among the piles of initialed and un-initialed clothes alike, I thought about this:
Unlike washing clothes on Day 3 of Wyldlife camp, washing human hearts is a labor-intensive and difficult task that only one Person is seasoned-veteran-(and-fully-Divine)-enough to successfully complete.
And human hearts, whether really dirty or barely dirty, surely do need washing.
And the cost to wash human hearts, whether really dirty or barely dirty, is just the same – no more for the really dirty and no less for the barely dirty.
And the cost is astonishing to consider because the cost is nothing less than absolutely everything.
Indeed, Jesus paid it all, for all, on the cross so that both the really dirty and the barely dirty – a distinction that ultimately has no significance – can be washed clean and made new.
And after being washed clean and made new, the formerly (really) dirty or (barely) dirty human heart is newly named . . . not with initials on a tag, but with an identity of the soul:
child of God . . . daughter . . . son . . . heir . . . beloved.
So there’s that: human laundry. It’s good for what ails us all. And sometimes – oh gracious and glory be – it happens at camp. For human hearts. Inside of middle school students. Who are beloved by the Father. Who washes us all. Just because He loves. Just because He can.