Out of all the household jobs I do, I like ironing the least. Ironing is evil. I don’t mind cleaning the bathroom, doing dishes, dusting or even cleaning the little boys’ room (the toilet!). I would even go as far to say I love washing the clothes – and hanging them out to dry, folding them and putting them away. The Spunky Hunk is not allowed to do that job. Maybe I’m just plain weird – but I get a sense of achievement with taking some dirty clothes and making them clean and presentable. But ironing. Nah. That’s evil.
So on Friday I actually spent time in the morning ironing a dress that I wanted to wear. Big task for me you now understand. When I went to put my dress on, I accidentally got deodorant marks on it. White marks on a brown dress. Not good, not good. Trouble was I was pushed for time and didn’t want to change, so I tried to wash the marks off – never works – and kept my long hair down trying to cover up the marks. All day long I was aware of the marks….where I went in my day…I was a marked woman. That’s what ironing will do for you.
I don’t know how noticeable it was to other people – but I was aware of it. A little embarrassed – but not overly concerned about it, not enough to get changed anyway, when I had time later on in the day.
Now I’ve been thinking about how can I as a Christian be ‘Jesus with skin on’? How can I spend my days, doing normal Mummy things, and actually appear to be different to the people around me? But not freak them out with weirdness. Because you know what – I am different. I am ‘marked’ by the touch of Christ. I am ‘marked’ by the Holy Spirit who dwells in me. As my dress was marked the other day, and I was visible to everyone as the woman who was too pushed for time and too lazy to wear anything other than the marked dress, so I am marked. But how would you know this?
To give a simple, practical example – How can I be Christlike to the other parents around me at my son’s school?
I would hope that I speak to my family nicely – peppering my words with kindness and love. Now I’m the first to admit that this doesn’t always happen – but I am working on it.
I try to take an interest in others – to initiate conversation with others and be more interested in what they have to say, than what I have to say.
I stay away from gossip.
I honour and value my husband – and will not criticize him, and not engage in idle chatter that brings him down.
These are just a few of the ways that I can show I am marked by the One who gives me hope. The one who asks us to be in this world but not of it. I am not perfect – I miss opportunities to share God’s love all the time, but these are a few of the initiatives I am aware of trying to do on a regular basis, to share my marks.
And as for the marked dress – it has been washed and is in the ironing pile……waiting…….