The Wringer Washer

The Wringer Washer

My aunt had a wringer washing machine. How I wanted to try washing clothes like my aunt!  I had spent the night with her and my uncle.  The next day we were to wash clothes. She had told me I could help. I was five years old. I was eager to put something through the wringer and watch it get squashed and roll out the other side. I didn’t know it would be my arm! She had told me I could put the cloth in, but I got tired of waiting. I asked her if it was time, but she didn’t hear me over the noise of the washing machine, so I took the opportunity and put the handkerchief in the roller. I was sure to hold on to it because if you let it go too soon the cloth would wrap around the roller. Then you would have to stop the machine and try to unwrap the cloth; taking time and effort. I didn’t want to mess up. Well, I held on too long and the wringer took my hand and arm up to my elbow where it started spinning because it could go on farther.

I must have screamed out because my aunt turned around with a stricken look on her face and immediately unplugged the washer. The look on her face was one of panic, but in my young mind it was a look of disappointment and that she would not love me as much anymore.

I have taken that attitude with me through life; that if I did not measure up to someone’s standards, they would not love me as much.  I also took this misgiving into my marriage and into my relationship with Jesus. It has taken me many years to learn that performance does not go hand in hand with love.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.                                                                                                                            Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23(NLT)

 He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12 (NLT)

 We rushed to the doctor who was about 30 minutes away. He stitched the wound, wrapped my arm and put it in a sling. Black is the only color I remember about my arm. I still have the scar. I probably never got to help with washing again and likely didn’t want to.

                                                                                                                                -Colleen Morrison