Wednesday, April 9, 2008


My dear wife is somewhat obsessed with Sonic. For those of you outside the Sonic serving area, go here to find out more. Sonic is to Tennessee as Burgerville is to Washington (to help those of you in Washington). 
Anji loves to enjoy a nice, big, ice-cold, Sonic Cherry Limeade whenever she has the opportunity and she had the opportunity today. She went big - the Route 44 Cherry Limeade - 44 ounces of cherry-lime goodness, with extra maraschinos to boot. Unfortunately, in a sad turn of events, 40 ounces ended up on the floorboards of our minivan, leaving a permanent reminder of American excess gone bad.
When Anji and the boys arrived at home I was informed of the debacle and shortly went out to survey the impact zone. At first, it didn't look too bad, even though I had been warned otherwise. The floormats had some of the drink on them for sure, but - yeah - it didn't look that bad.

Until I pulled the floormats back. 

And there it was: the stain. The stain to beat all stains. A stain the size of Puerto Rico. A pink Puerto Rico-sized stain.

And Anji, bless her heart, gave me some space. I began with a wishful scrubbing with soap, then a hopeful stain remover application, and finally a bizarre and desperate witches' brew of supposed stain-removing concoctions. None of them worked. 

None of them worked at all.

As I scrubbed, and scrubbed, and sprayed, and scrubbed, and blotted, and applied, and scrubbed again, I became increasingly angry. Angry at Anji for buying, then spilling, that enormous drink. Angry with the spot remover manufacturer for even hinting that their product could remove this monster ("multiple applications may be necessary"). Angry with Sonic for putting red dye in a huge cup that cannot possibly meet OSHA safety standards. I was perturbed. The boys stepped back from their observations, the dog cowered in the corner, and I think I even saw the neighbors taking a wide berth as they passed by on their evening walk. The stain was so huge and so difficult to remove. The only way it would ever go away was if I bleached it out or cut it out or replaced the carpet completely!

And then, in a moment, the anger left and I was caught up in sadness and remorse. A vision exploded in my head. That stain, that huge stain, is just like the one I used to bear before the Spirit told me I was chosen. My stain, unlike the one in our car, had been removed through my Lord and Savior. My stain was removed with His blood and it washed me white as snow. 

As anger passed into sadness, sadness passed into joy.

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 
And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest.
And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 
Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: 
and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Revelation 7:13-17

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