Lessons of the Sweater Search

That Log in my Eye….Again
Recently I set off to spend a day with my daughter Elaine. We had plans to attend a bridal fair so I was due at her home at a specific time. She and I were looking forward to exploring options for her upcoming wedding and enjoying some time together.

As usual, I had squeezed in one last cup of coffee before preparing to leave and I was running late.

Now, during the week our contractor, Tristan, had been at our home repairing some concealed water damage in the wall of our kitchen. During that time, he had, one morning, brought to me a new sweater that I had left drying on top of the clothes dryer in the garage. “We’ll be cutting drywall in your garage today,” he told me. “I don’t want this to get all dusty.”

On this morning I wished to wear my new sweater. Tristan had left it folded over a chair in the dining room the day before. But now it was gone! Where could it be?

I speculated that Tristan had stowed it away somewhere before installing drywall in the kitchen. My husband Rich helped me search. We looked on the dining room chairs. We looked in the china cabinet. We looked in the pantry. The sweater was nowhere to be seen.

Hmm. My bonus daughter Rebecca had done laundry the night before. Perhaps she had unintentionally swept my sweater up with her clean clothes and taken it to her room? Rich went upstairs and looked. No sweater.

By now I was annoyed–and late. Who had moved my sweater, and to where? Sweaters don’t just vanish, I thought to myself. Irritated and defeated, I went upstairs, showered, and chose another blouse for the day.

As I descended the stairs, I had a hunch. Earlier in the week I had retrieved my wedding veil from my cedar chest so Elaine could decide whether she wanted to wear it for her own wedding. I had intended to return it to the cedar chest the next day–and could have sworn I had–but later that day, there it had been, on the kitchen table.

Yet I recalled that I had opened the cedar chest. I returned to it, opened it….and found the sweater.

I had been so willing to assume that someone else had put my lost sweater where it didn’t belong. But it was I who had done so.

This lesson is one I need to review regularly. I am too eager to fix the cause of my trouble outside my own behavior.

And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in
your own?
Matthew 7:3 (NLT)


  1. Thanks for sharing – I too have this problem…. I have found over the years that as painful as it may be to "sweep my own porch" before I "sweep yours" – I am the one who benefits most, as I become closer to God, and effectively closer to God! So thanks for reminding me that I might need to keep the broom out! Love you!