It might sound like an odd focus for a Christmas devotional thought, but there is great significance regarding towels. I was pondering them one day while rolling towels for the members at the health club where I work. From the uses for them to the attitudes displayed through them to the manner in which God uses them, let us consider towels this Christmas.
At the health club, I have noticed several uses for towels. Members check in at the front desk and take 1 or 2 towels. Some dry off after a swim or shower. Some use them to cushion and support an achy back or neck. Others put them under weight plates to push across the gym floor for exercise. Children are wrapped up in them to stay warm after they come out of the pool, snuggled by a parent. When they are no longer useful for members’ use, they become cleaning rags. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by all the towels.
There are also an attitudes displayed through them. Some of them reflect the social patterns of a community through how the towel stack is used. Angry and picky members pick through, tossing the rejects every which way. Follow –the- crowd people go for a towel in the stack that has been chosen by members who were there before. Non-conformists and trailblazers seem to go for a stack seemingly not touched before. Heaven forbid there not be any towels at all! An empty towel rack is bound to reflect disappointed, upset members. One time, I took in a copy of towel-origami from a cruise ship. One of our front desk people made a set of swans that brought compliments and cheer. At one point through the day, a member snatched one by the neck and trudged to the locker room. Angry, tired, or feeling entitled to niceties, who knows? Attitudes show through what we leave or don’t leave behind.
God has used towels in numerous ways. Keep in mind that towels were not quite what we think of today. Towels were bandages for the man the Good Samaritan cared for (Luke 10:30-37). Jesus took his outer garment off, then wrapped a towel around his waist as he demonstrated service by washing the disciples’ feet when they felt too good to do such a thing (John 13:1-20) Mary’s hair became a towel to wipe the feet of her Savior and anointed him with expensive perfume for burial (Mark 14:3-9). God used old towels, rags, in a stable for Mary to wrap baby Jesus in (Luke 2:1-7). Yet Jesus’ body was wrapped in burial cloths to be put into the tomb. Those same cloths were neatly folded and Peter discovered Jesus was risen from the dead (John 19:38-42, 20:1-10).
As we use towels, may we reflect on the attitudes of our hearts. Are ignoring those in need or are we caring for those who need our help? Are we expecting to be served or serving each other? Are we feeling entitled or are we showing a deep, gratitude-filled love for our Lord? Are we busy exalting ourselves or are we humbled? May the Lord bless you this Christmas through towels.