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About the Writer:
Joanne Sampl

With grown step-children, college age sons and a self-employed husband, Joanne offers her time to God and to others. Her interest in writing and communications brought her back to college as an adult and through several reinventions of her own business and ministries. With time on her hands, she writes about God and life.



Reactions to A Full Hamper

By Joanne Sampl

It’s that time again. The hamper is full and I’m supposed to do something about it. When my children were little, my reactions to full hampers were much more dramatic. “But you only had this shirt on for 5 minutes!!! Why is it already in the hamper?” Wrinkles, wrong colors, too tight, too big – there seemed to always be some reason of justification in their eyes and irritation in my voice.

Now, I have just one full hamper: the one I share with my husband. Over half of these dirty clothes are mine. I’m not sure I want to count the garments I put in there that were too wrinkled, the wrong color, or too tight. (I can assure you, there is nothing I own that is too big for me.)

I still feel irritated that this is an endless job: carrying the hamper downstairs, sorting it according to color and fabric weight (so that I don’t have to iron), and laundering each pile. The image of Jesus’ multiplying the loaves and fish to feed 5000 people comes to mind as I recognize the multiplication of socks that don’t match and shirts that swell the piles of clothes across the laundry room floor. Maybe I’m still a little dramatic about the whole laundry thing.

And, then, I remember that I love my husband. I love my kids. I can meet a very practical need for them. When Jesus fed the 5000 in the passage in Matthew 15:32-38, He met a very practical need. They were hungry. He fed them. It describes Jesus’ motivation in verse 32:

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” (NIV)

“I have compassion for these people,” Jesus says. What an understatement! Look what He did for them on the Cross, not just on the mountainside that day. No shortcuts. No easier way. No complaints. No irritations. No excuses. Jesus knew from the beginning of creation that people would need His ultimate sacrifice to be clean once and for all. He carried our “full hamper of sins” to the Cross and didn’t leave one sin unwashed.

God invites each of us to come to the cross. Have we taken our “full hamper of sins” to Jesus today? I am thankful for the hamper and the care that it represents. Responding to Christ is as simple as realizing we have some “dirty laundry” in our lives that needs to be cleaned by Him. We carry sins to Him through prayer in a pile or one by one. He doesn’t care about the wrinkles, the colors, or the sizes of sins in the hamper. He’s listening. He’s not irritated with us or looking for justification. He has compassion for us. He loves us. And when Jesus does our “full hamper of sins,” we are permanently laundered.



Copyright © November 8, 2007 – Joanne Sampl. All rights reserved.


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