2014 Winter Middle East Retreat | A Place To Share
The basket overflowed. The floor was covered. “The guest room will hold it all,” I thought. And in went all the dirty laundry! “There, one day I will catch up, but for now its all in one place”… And there were 9 loads. This was the beginning of January. It’s now the middle of February and I’m all caught up!
Can you relate? Where was the last place you hid your “dirty laundry”?
The ladies I speak with certainly know what it means to hide things. Each day, we all have things we wish no one knew about and try to hide them from other’s view. But what if you lived in close quarters with your extended family? The places to hide become harder to find. And who do you then become?
Just as in the garden on Eden when God came looking for his beloved son and daughter and Adam and Eve hid, we do the same thing. When God came to them, they shared why they were hiding. There was a relationship and they knew Him. He was the one to share with; dirty laundry and all.
Who do you share with? God? Your Bible study group? Your best friend? Your sister? The ladies I speak with daily have no one safe to share with. They could never share the truth with family. Neighbors would just gossip. And they don’t know the merciful and loving God. So amidst the buying groceries, school pick up and drop off, stroller walk to get the baby asleep, many cups of coffee and tea, I am the outsider who is safe. I’m not a family member. I’m not a neighbor who spreads gossip. I listen and tell of God’s great love and mercy for them and their situation.
The next time your laundry piles up, praise God for the people you have to share your load with. For this reason, I’m thankful for the ministry of the Thrive retreat to put me with others so I can share my dirty laundry after carrying so many others’ loads. And be reminded that my loving Father is always looking, ready to listen to His beloved daughter.
Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. Psalms 30:4
About the author
Linda Swanson serves with Paraclete as a member care provider, retreat speaker and spiritual director. She comes alongside global workers to help them be effective in life and ministry. Via Skype, Linda provides spiritual direction for global workers. With her husband, Kevin, Linda served for 28 years with MAF, both overseas as a pilot/mechanic family and at headquarters in administration and member care. During eight of those years, she helped direct Fairhaven Ministries, a retreat center for clergy and global workers. Now, Linda lives in Englewood, New Jersey where her husband is a pastor with the Evangelical Covenant Church. Their two children are married and they have two grandsons.View all articles by: Linda Swanson
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