On August 4, 1984, my husband and I were married in a beautiful ceremony. The occasion was well-attended, and we were showered with many gifts! We spent months writing heartfelt thank you notes. But, amidst our abundant blessing, there was one gift we did not receive. It was something that had been in my parents’ home for as long as I could remember. How was I expected to start housekeeping without at least one or two? I needed rags. Good old cleaning rags! Everything we started home-making with was brand spanking, just out of the wrapper, new! I certainly didn’t want to use a bright new towel to dust my furniture, wash my windows, and scrub my floors!
Well, after over thirty-one years of marriage, I no longer have that problem. I have scads of rags. And I have plenty more items that should probably be assigned to the rag bag, as well.
So, what’s the big deal with having rags? Well, I’m so glad you asked.
What is a rag? It is a piece of well-worn, often tattered or irreparably damaged clothing or fabric that is relegated to another function such as cleaning. In its day, that rag ran around on the back of a precious six-year old boy while he was climbing a tree, or a dear husband who tore a sleeve on a nail while he was helping me with a project, or a sweet little girl who wore her favorite shirt until it just wouldn’t fit anymore. Rags are born from living life as a family. They are created as the family grows. Yes, they may have originally been only t-shirts. But each rag I own was worn or used by a precious family member as we grew and laughed and loved life together.
When I started life as a newlywed, I had no rags because I had not created any memories with my family! Now, as I look back over the years, I thank God for each rag in my bag, knowing it is a full bag because we have been so abundantly blessed as a family! The Lord has supplied our needs as the children grew and changed sizes (and as my husband and I changed sizes, as well!). He has supplied linens to wipe dishes and wash faces. He has given us socks for our feet, all sizes. As these items have fulfilled and completed their original use, they have been transferred to the rag bag. And God has graciously been meeting our needs in similar fashion over the years.
So as I use my rags to clean, “I thank my God upon every remembrance” of His abundant supply of our needs and of the precious memories He has given us a family together! (Philippians 1:3). May you, too, enjoy accumulating rags!