Small Stain, Large Lesson
September 8, 2015

Sometime in the spring I found some adorable outfits on Pinterest that I wanted to try. They all involved a nice white t-shirt with bright colored statement necklaces and the rest was left to my imagination.

For years I haven’t purchased much of anything white for a couple of reasons.

The first is that I bought into the whole “dark colors make you look slimmer” approach to life. I’ve had black dominating my closet forEVER because it was safe.

Right behind the first reason was the fact that whenever I wore white I inevitably also showcased whatever I had just eaten in a lovely display around my chest or neck area.

After deciding that messy food and old fashioned fashion rules were not the boss of me, I set out to find the perfect white t-shirt. This turned out to be plural.

I found more than one and to be safe, I purchased them.

Around a month ago I took my youngest on a mom/daughter trip to celebrate her upcoming “Sweet16”.

While getting ready one morning I spilled a dot of makeup on my white shirt. I tried to spot clean it but seriously, Micky Mouse was waiting for us and I didn’t want to mess with that window of opportunity. I sprinkled some water on it and hoped for the best.

After returning home I found the shirt in my dirty clothes bag. The stain mocked me as it had grown to the size of a quarter. As I began to work on getting the stain out I lost track of time. Maybe I even became a little obsessed with getting the stain out but I worked at it, vowing not to give up.

Since then, two other white shirts (one is a new tank) have fallen victim to my inability to navigate a white wardrobe. As I type, all of these poor, innocent shirts with stains are soaking in a borax and bleach solution because I can’t seem to just let it go.

While working on the first shirt something occurred to me. If I had just tended to the stain when it first happened, it would have been so much easier to get out and the likelihood of saving the shirt would have been greater.

This thought made a segue into the topic of relationships.

How often is someone hurt and we just tell ourselves we will deal with it later? We let them sit and soak in the offense instead of tending to the stain on their heart as soon as we realize it?

Later we sit in awe of how someone could have become bitter when at the time it seems like something small.

Bitterness grows out of a wound left untended. The root burrows deep into the ground just like the stain on my shirt. It grabs hold of a soul and doesn’t let go.

You may wonder why I didn’t just toss my shirt aside for one of the others. I don’t know except I didn’t want it to go to waste or to be lost. I even asked myself why I was so bent on saving this one garment. It still had value to me.

It’s vital that we see those who are hurting as valued and worth redeeming. When offenses come we owe it to ourselves and those around us to seek healing immediately.

I’ve decided that I can no longer wait until damage has altered someone. Every soul in our path has value and a purpose. Every person is an integral part of our community and we owe it to each other to engage in the healing process. Whether it is a hurt inflicted by us or we are to help in reconciliation, if we are in a place to recognize it, we can learn to help heal it as well.

James 1:19 tells us to be “quick to hear”. Sound advice to those of us who hope to be healers of hearts as we learn to live gently and love passionately.

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1 Comment

  1. Bev Murrill

    I totally resonate with that, Jemelene… me and white! Well, let’s just say it’s a train wreck. I’m so bugged about how many
    really nice things I can’t wear anymore except around the house because I can’t keep the rest of my life off it.

    And yeah, how apt that the stains in our heart need attending to, too. ASAP!


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