Down and Across



“Please, please, let it not be stained by the soil!”

Grudgingly I picked up the wet laundry. Within those split seconds, the soil had already gleefully (I presume) made its mark.  I’m not sure which was drearier – the thought of having to wash everything by hand all over again or my inner squirming of embarrassment! It was my second failed attempt at putting up a clothes line in my new place. I didn’t want to ‘air my dirty laundry in public’! Thus I attempted to steer clear from the view of those who need to walk down this private lane. (Is this what I get for being considerate of my neighbours?!) Yet, I wanted my clothes to dry in the sun. After pacing up and down, peering here and there with a long red clothes line in my hand, I came up with a brainwave (I did think so then!). The clothes line would begin from the slightly hidden end of the driveway and finish in the garage.

Well, it did kind of work but what I hadn’t realised was, the wall was a hard wall – and thus the nail hadn’t gone in deep enough to stay secure. The nail fell for the weight of the laundry and so did the clothes line!! (Ahh… and I had got some workers to drill it in for me!) The clothes line needs to be supported by ends that are firmly held by surfaces rooted in the ground. The relationship between the horizontal and vertical reminds me of the cross.

Whenever I think about the 2 Greatest Commandments, I tend to envision a cross. The horizontal plank representing relationships with one another is supported by the vertical plank representing our relationship with God. The firmer the vertical is rooted, the steadier the horizontal. It makes sense, doesn’t it? The more we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, the more we start to love those He has created… we obey Him because we want to. His love sustains us. However, I did wonder why relationships are still tough… and there are so many break downs.

This clothes line experience shed more light. It managed, just barely, to stay in place despite the nail not being drilled in properly. However, as the ends were not rooted properly, the line couldn’t take the weight of additional baggage. The line fell, soiling the items that hung on it. However, if both ends were like ‘crosses’, both being rooted firmly in God, then the line (in other words, the relationship) attached to them, will be more than steady. It becomes firmer, able to take on additional burdens and thus healthier!

Right now all I can hear (in my head of course) is the song,

“Friends are friends forever, if the Lord is the Lord of them”!


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