Some people remember when you hung your wash on a clothesline. In some places, they still do. Here’s an old story with a point that shouldn’t be:
A young couple moved into a new neighborhood. On their first morning, they were sitting down for breakfast when she watched her next door neighbor begin to hang her laundry on the line in the back yard. Wife said to husband, “Those clothes don’t look very clean. I wonder if she is washing them correctly.” The husband didn’t say anything. This happened several times with the same comment being made. Each time the husband stayed quiet. Finally, wife noticed a change: “Look, she either learned how to wash better or she got better detergent. I wonder who showed her how.” The husband finally spoke: “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”
To paraphrase the words of Jesus, perhaps we should clean our windows before we judge someone else’s wash. One of the most liberating moments in life should come when we admit our own weaknesses and faults. When we come face to face with our own humanity, we can better see the humanity in others.
C.S. Lewis said that the unique contribution of Christianity to the world was grace. For believers, grace isn’t possible, not in its fullest sense, outside of Christ. We see it in His warning about judging others. We recognize it when He told us to treat others as we wish to be treated.
Grace doesn’t come from obligation or duty; it flows from gratitude. Being grateful for receiving the gift of grace should encourage us to be more extravagant in sharing it. Who wants to live with dirty windows?