The Gospel According to Socks
by Steven Wickstrom
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Steven P. Wickstrom
I did the laundry the other day and I am positive that I put all my dirty socks in the washing machine. Yet, when I took all the laundry out of the dryer, I was missing a sock. I searched the washing machine. I searched the dryer. I even searched the clothes hamper. My efforts were all in vain, the sock was gone; it had vanished into sock oblivion. Now there is a lonely sock sitting all by itself on the dresser. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it; it is not very useful without a mate. It is a perfectly good sock, so I can't just throw it away. It wouldn't be so bad if this was an isolated incident, but it is not. It just so happens that I have lost socks in the laundry in the past. I have lost quite a few socks, as matter of fact. I don't normally believe in conspiracy theories, but I'm starting to wonder about all those socks. Where do they go? What are they doing? Is there a sock party that I don't know about? Why did they leave me in the first place? Do my feet really smell that bad?
Sometimes as Christians, we feel just like that sock sitting on my dresser. God puts us into his washing machine and dryer, and we come out feeling all alone. We feel like our other sock is missing. We think that God cannot use us because we are imperfect. We think that we are the only ones who have ever experienced the traumatic events we have gone through. We think that we are not good enough for God to use. We tend to forget that coming out of God's laundry makes us clean and available. You do not need to be two socks in order for God to use you. We tend not to think that sitting on top of God's dresser, waiting to be put into use, is a good thing. All that we can see is that we are all alone.
The prophet Elijah had this same problem. In 1st Kings chapter 19 we find Elijah running for his life after the glorious display of God's power on Mount Carmel. Jezebel had vowed to kill the prophet and Elijah ran and hid in a cave. Elijah felt like he was the only sock on top of Godís dresser and that he was all alone. He had come out of the laundry and he could see no other socks. He thought that he was only sock who was serving God. God informed Elijah that he had seven thousand socks still in his dresser, waiting to be put into service. Elijah was in despair because he could not see the other socks that were underneath him, out of sight, in the other drawers. Elijah soon discovered that he was wrong; there actually were many other socks.
I think that God loves socks. He makes them in all different sizes and different colors and different materials. He also loves variety, and so no two socks are identical. You will never see a sock in God's drawer that looks or acts just like you. You are a unique sock. You must realize however, that you are not alone. You are not God's only sock, there are many others. God has given all of us socks a mission: go out and find the lost socks. We are to make disciples out of as many lost socks as possible. God's enemy the devil (who hates socks), tries to snatch as many socks as possible out of the laundry. He does not want them to go to sock heaven. As a result, God uses you and me, his socks, to retrieve the lost and stolen socks.
It is not a matter of whether or not you are qualified, but whether or not you are available. A sock does not need to have any talent to be used of God. You should also realize that God will not use a sock that does not make itself available to him. Do not worry about being a misfit sock with no talent. Not all socks are musically gifted. Not all socks can preach, or teach, or even sing. Are you available? Are you willing to be worn by God? Are you willing to bring other socks into God's kingdom? If you are, then God will use you. God will provide the talent that you need for the situation that he puts you in. Go and be a sock for God. Go and be the best sock that you can possibly be.
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I laughed and laughed. I could see the sock pressing up against the side of the dryer. Very creative held my attention all the way through. I liked the way you moved to the story of Elijah. I too am Coast Guard and was stationed at Norfolk. But this was 30 years ago. Anyway, thanks again for the laugh. Well written. I have a number of writing sites and canít remember if Iím listed here by my name or advisor4. I do have poetrypoem.com/advisor4
Steven, I'm going to feature this as the Front Page Showcase article for the week of August 30. Look for it on the FaithWriters home page--and congratulations!