An Expensive Towel

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog that mentioned washing windows. I received several comments about a towel that would make washing my windows an easier job. Suzanne warned me that the BacLock Norwex Window Cloth wasn’t cheap, but she said it was really worth it. 

After reading her comment, I googled it. I read the comments from other users who, like Suzanne, promised it would change my life. 

But—and this will come as no surprise to my close friends—I decided it was too much to spend on a towel. 

But then . . . 

Summer vacation 2020 

Jim and I wanted to take a week of vacation out at Possum Kingdom Lake. It was a staycation because we were at our own little house. My oldest son, Ryan, wrote Jim’s articles that week, so it was truly a vacation from work. (And shoutout to Ryan—they were GREAT articles!) 

Jim and I spent the week taking day trips to places we had always wanted to see but had never found the time. We visited three forts, a few museums, several small towns, and saw interesting historical landmarks we might never have seen otherwise. 

For the Texas history buffs, we saw the forts that built this state, protected the early settlers, and, sadly, devastated the American Indian population that had enjoyed this land first. We crossed the border into Oklahoma and saw Fort Sill, the place where Geronimo, Quanah Parker, Cynthia Parker, and many of the family are buried. 

I won’t impose any more home movies on all of you, but it was a great way to spend a week of vacation when a regular vacation just wasn’t in the cards. 

Twenty sticky handprints later . . . 

While we were exploring historical sites in Texas, our kids and grandkids spent a few days at our home in Dallas. It gave them a staycation, of sorts. It was fun to see the pictures of my grandsons playing in the pool, cooking out, and having fun. 

Our kids did a great job picking up the house, but a few “souvenirs” remained. After returning from our vacation, I was sitting in my chair when I caught a glimpse of bright orange peeking out from under the coffee table. I extracted the Lego train and two other items that had been missed. It made me smile to think of them playing with those toys. 

I also noticed the windows were once again needing some attention. I loved seeing those handprints at two different levels. It was easy to know which grandson they belonged to. I was about to clean them when I remembered that towel people had recommended. 

I wondered, “Does it really work that well?” 

I went back to my computer and all those comments convinced me it was a good towel. Then, I found some on sale because they were pink and only three remained. 

I saw that as an invitation, maybe even a calling to make the purchase. 

I enjoyed looking at those sweet little handprints until the towel arrived. 

Picture fireworks going off while a band plays 

The BacLock Norwex Window Cloth arrived at my front door on Sunday morning. I tore open the package and thought, “Oh no. I can’t believe I spent twenty-six dollars on this towel!” (And that, by the way, was the sale price!) 

But, I owned it and I was going to use it. 

I filled the sink up and added a few drops of Dawn and a touch of vinegar. I wrung the towel out and started washing all those sweet handprints away. 

At this point, if I could insert a link to Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” I would, just so you could have the full effect of how I felt twenty handprints later. 

I couldn’t stop. My windows have never looked so good! 

That towel is a miraculous invention. I don’t know why it works. I don’t need to. 

I don’t know why it costs so much, but I would pay it again if I ever lost this one. 

Thank you, Suzanne, for your comment a few weeks ago. I will think of you whenever I’m cleaning my windows! 

The most expensive towel in history 

That towel is incredible, but it isn’t the most valuable towel in human history. 

Consider the towel that Jesus used to dry the feet of his disciples. Imagine what historical museums would fight to spend on that towel if they could. 

Jesus knew he was headed to Calvary. His disciples were gathered in the Upper Room when the Son of God knelt to wash their filthy feet and dry them with a towel. One by one, Jesus made everyone clean, even Judas. 

People in first-century Israel wore sandals and walked through all manner of filth during their day. Washing feet was a job normally given to the lowest servant in the household. In fact, it was in the laws that no Jewish person could be forced to wash another person’s feet. 

That’s why Peter was confused and probably a bit horrified when Jesus knelt in front of him. He questioned him saying, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” (John 13:6). 

Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”  Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me” (John 13:7–8). 

Jesus did countless acts of love during his ministry, none more significant than those early moments in the Upper Room. Before Jesus told his disciples that he was going to die, he taught them how they would need to live if they wanted to share in his ministry. 

Is the towel worth it? 

I could have hired someone to wash my windows, but it would have been a lot more expensive than buying that towel. And windows get dirty again and again and again. My windows will be much cleaner a lot more often because I got that towel and learned how to use it. 

We Bible teachers don’t talk often enough about the need for extreme sacrifice, extreme love, and extreme commitment. One of the reasons we don’t teach those lessons is that they make people uncomfortable. Another reason is that those lessons make us uncomfortable too. 

But, our lives will be a lot cleaner if we think about what Jesus taught his disciples by washing their feet. Jesus could have asked someone else to do that job, but he knelt and did the job himself. 

Christians feel good when they donate to organizations that take care of people in need. Serving at those organizations and interacting with people who have great need is a larger commitment. 

We are quick to donate to missionaries who serve in places that are not as safe and comfortable as where we live. Going to those places to serve requires more of us. 

Sometimes it is easier to offer our money than it is to tie the towel around our waists and serve others, like Jesus did. 

People, like windows, get dirty over and over again. That’s why Jesus gave us his Holy Spirit. He wanted to continue to wash people’s feet, through us. 

The week after vacation

I remember thinking, “When I get back from vacation, things will have calmed down.” 

I was wrong. 

This week I’m thinking, “How do I help?” 

The towel of service might end up costing more than we want to pay, but it will be worth it—if it does the job. There is a lot to clean up in our culture. 

How can we help? 

God knows the answer to that question. The point is, are we asking and expecting his answer? 

I was washing my windows, thinking about this blog post when I had the thought, “Maybe I’m supposed to write about that.” 

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). 

If Jesus could speak to us today, he might suggest we pick up a towel as well.