Grandma was of Swedish descent. She had chosen what I would call Swedish craft colors. The afghan was a mix of blue, yellow, red, white and gray, within a tan background. If you can picture a Swedish dala horse, you'll have an idea of the colors she used. And yet, I had to admit they somehow blended pretty well.
Before long the afghan was finished and given to me. Sigh. What craftmanship. What detail. What love. And even though I wasn't crazy about the colors, I was crazy about my grandma, so I spread it over my bed.
Now without going into the details, let me just say that the place my family was living at the time was temporary while our new home was being built. And since it was temporary, I became rather lax about keeping my room clean and taking care of my things. (It was no excuse, but I was after all, still a teenager.)
Time passed, and the afghan became soiled, so I tossed it into a corner of my room ... where unknown to me until I grabbed it to wash it sometime later, it had become "very" soiled. (Yes, we had pets.)
So since I was lazy, spoiled, grossed out, and very stupid (and possibly temporarily insane), instead of throwing the afghan into the washer ... I threw it out. Into the trash. And I didn't go retrieve it and rescue it. My grandmother's beautiful afghan she made just for me was gone. Forever.
I told this story to a group of church women a few years ago. When I related that I threw away the afghan, there was a collective gasp. And to this day I'm just sick about it every time I think of how I tossed it away with so little regard. That I didn't run get that dirty afghan, hug it to my bosom, wash it two or three times (because I don't think it was beyond hope), and place it carefully aside to be safeguarded for a future time when I would treasure it always as a sweet memory of my grandmother.
And I marvel that if I feel so much bittersweet pain over a lost afghan, I can't even begin to imagine how much pain Father God feels over his lost children ... His very own special, beloved creation.
My afghan, of course, was inanimate and couldn't plead with me to save it. But you and I have a say in the matter. All we have to do, if we haven't already, is to tell Jesus we're sorry we're soiled (repent of our sins), ask Him to forgive our sins, and ask Him into our hearts to be our Savior and Lord for all eternity. Never to be discarded like old, filthy rags, or my poor afghan, but rather to be treasured by God as His beloved children. Forever. O Come, Let Us Adore Him.
"This is how God showed his love among us:
He sent his one and only Son into the world
that we might live through him."
1 John 4:9
Merry Christmas to you and yours,