When Bronwyn and I hiked the Appalachian Trail, we would often go a little while without being able to put on clean clothes. We did however splurge a bit on pack weight with socks because clean dry socks were a huge luxury. I literally knew hikers who had two pair, the ones they were hiking in and the ones they had strapped to their packs so they would dry. After days of being dirty there was nothing better than finding some place to take a shower and then being able to put on your hiking clothes after they had been washed. One of the things that always surprised me was that people would have an opportunity to wash their clothes and then wouldn’t do it. Bronwyn, however, was the master and finding ways for us to clean our clothes. She would get hotels we weren’t staying at, random strangers, whoever, because putting on clean clothes was definitely the best! We did have one unfortunate clothing disaster where almost all our hiking clothes were destroyed; you can read about that in our trail journal if you would like.
If you look at Galatians 3:26-27 is says:
26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
The context of the last part “put on Christ” is the same language that’s used for putting on clothing. I love thinking of coming into a relationship with Jesus like that because I have experienced the dirtiness of sin and the dirtiness of hiking clothes and love the reality of being cleansed from sin because it feels a little like a hiking shirt with 4 days of sweat and grime on it being washed and smelling fresh. I John 1:7 says it all:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
There is nothing like being cleansed from ALL our sin because of the blood shed on the cross for us. If you have ever smelled old hiking clothes, or old hikers, you’ll know how incredible pungent it is. The only smell worse is the smell of death and decay and in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 it talks about us being the aroma of Christ opposed to the aroma of death. What a clear beautiful analogy of the new life in Christ because we all can understand bad smells from good ones, especially people who were unfortunate enough to have had to stand near me after many days of hiking.
Now, there was one hostel we stayed at in Maine that did something extra special. They actually had clothes you could put on while you washed all your dirty clothes. It was so great but also weird to have on non-hiking clothes for the first time in months. I tried to find the absolute best outfit I could. However, someday we will be clothed in glory forever with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.