This next story will make you cringe, turn your stomach or just amuse you. My friend, Bob Chaffart, relates the following experience:
"Although all of my friends are distinctive, I have a friend who is even more unique than most. He has a passion that most over-the-hill parents hate! He has an obsession for snakes! The bigger the better; the fatter, the more appealing; the longer, the more delightful!"
Is it any wonder that when he went to South America as a student missionary, he couldn't resist obtaining two Boa Constrictors and a Toucan? I'm still not sure how the Toucan came into the mix, but that's another story!
My friend's only problem was this: how to get his new "pets" back home to Arkansas! The day of his return finally arrived, and my friend found himself sitting on an airplane with two huge straw laundry baskets on one side, and a birdcage draped with a sheet on the other. He had placed his Boas at the bottom of the laundry basket, and to make things look less conspicuous, he then filled the basket with-imagine this-laundry! How original!
For some reason, his assigned seat mates apparently found seats elsewhere. I wonder if it had anything to do with the moving laundry. But surely not. After all, doesn't laundry naturally move... when it's in the washing machine?
For once, the plane arrived on time, and my friend's parents waited anxiously for their son to pass through customs. When the other passengers on the plane came and went however, and there was no sign of their son, they couldn't help but ask themselves if he had missed his plane! Then one last passenger exited customs grumbling about some mad man back there who had tried to bring Boa Constrictors on the plane. The parents had to smile. They no longer doubted their son's safe arrival.
Back in the custom's area however, the border inspector wasn't quite as quick to smile. You see, something was just not right about that laundry basket, and he made the mistake of sticking in his hand to further inspect the situation. Imagine his surprise to find that the laundry was...slimy! And... and...slivering...Wait a minute! Slivering? Laundry isn't supposed to be slivering!
"What's in this basket?" He exclaimed.
Imagine his surprise to discover the two snakes. The Toucan faired a bit better. When the inspector opened its cage for a health inspection, it simply flew away. You can just imagine how amused the inspector must have been as he tried to catch the impetuous bird!
Somehow my friend and his prized pets made it through inspection. Much to the dismay of the horrified parents. "Welcome back home son! . . . Uh . . . We think!"
At one time or another, all of us in the laundry basket of life have something hidden, something we hope no one finds out-- an insecurity, habit or activity we keep stuffed inside our private life.
But when going through the inspection of our soul, the divine inspector knows, understands and longs to heal that slithering weakness, apprehension or angst.
Though we might cover it with a list of activities and good deeds, He sees every minuscule detail. And best of all He has a plan to turn it all around.
When I lost my sight, I had hidden anger and resentment at the unfairness of the whole thing. But when I couldn't take the rumbling of those emotions anymore, I surrendered it all to Jesus. Then in His divine washing machine, he cleansed my heart of sin along with destructive reptiles that slithered in it.
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
And do we have any doubt He will answer when we ask, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).
He promised He will answer those who call upon Him… He has done it over and over again through time and right now is no exception. Praying you empty that laundry basket and choose to live a life free from any unwanted visitors that slink in your heart.