Virginia Aisling Prescott is never called Virginia. Instead she prefers the much more informal, Gina. She joined the church in 2006, at the age of 18 after sending her future husband off on his mission. She graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in English Lit and a minor in Women Studies and finds writing to be the best creative outlet for her days as a mother to her son. She loves her state of Washington, bodies of water, reading books and discussing them even more. She blogs at http://gidgetgoestorome.
Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, Isaiah. 1:18
I glanced at the watch on my wrist. 4:44 am.
Max, my seven month-old son, was crying, stirring from his slumber thirsty for some snuggles and milk from his mama. I wandered out of my room into his noting that the light in the living room was still on.
My in-laws were here for a visit this weekend and they were occupying our living room, sprawled out on the couch, a blow-up mattress, and a hunting cot my father-in-law brought for himself. I could hear my father-in-law snoring and as I sat and nursed and rocked my baby I wondered why the light was on.
I figured they had all fallen asleep with it still on and so I decided to wander into a mine field of sleeping persons to turn it off after laying my babe back in his crib.
Only it turns out someone was awake. My sister-in-law, an 8-year-old with spunk and a bossiness that comes from not having any siblings at home, was sitting on the couch wiping her nose.
“Oh…you’re awake. Are you all right?” I asked.
“My nose is bleeding.” She responded grogily, still heavy from sleep. She pulled her hand away and I saw a smearing of blood across her face and on her hand and on my couch and…..I sighed.
“Come here and I will clean you up.” We walked to the bathroom where I stopped the bleeding and washing the blood that was caked to her face and hair and hands. Then I decided to tackle the blood stain on my couch. After all blood is not something you want to let sit and settle.
Our couch is not a prized possession; in fact it was given to us by a church leader who needed to empty out a storage unit. He had a deadline and we needed a couch. It was a win-win. It is an olive green couch and I actually adore it. You sink in and never want to get up. That’s my kind of couch.
I wanted to save the couch from looking like a crime scene and so I traced my memory for stain removal. For some reason I used to think warm water was the key. For some things it is, but it has to be like boiling lava hot water. Plus couches are tricky since you can’t really put them into the washing machine. I remembered that cold water is magic for stains so I wet a rag and got to scrubbing. With my mother and father-in-law sleeping away right next to me, I gently rubbed and slowly the blood started to come out until you couldn’t see it any longer. I was glad my memory served me well, and after checking with my young sister-in-law to make sure she was all right and stopping the blood flow one more time, I turned off the light and went back to bed.
Except I wanted to make certain that cold water was the right thing. So I grabbed my phone letting the bright LED screen blind me momentarily. I searched, “remove blood stains” and saw that I was correct and in fact if I had used hot water I would have permanently set in the stain. PHEW! Glad my 5am brain was working.
Then I couldn’t get Isaiah 1:18 out of my head. Sins are like blood stains, scarlet and quick to set in forever. The Savior through his Atonement can remove those blood stains with living water. Now I don’t imagine living water was ever boiling lava hot. In fact, when I imagine it, it is like being so thirsty and being given a nice cool glass of water that perfectly quenches your thirst. But sometimes we don’t think clearly and when we see someone we love sinning, we forcefully hand them a mug of hot water. “Drink it!” we order. We try to force feed the Atonement by pouring the scalding water down their throat. Well of course this isn’t received well and usually that person we love is scarred and the blood stain of sin sets in, nearly impossible to remove .