Sunday night, I decided to throw a quick load of laundry in the washer—even though I knew it was leaking. Brian didn’t have time to look at it right then and I was in a time crunch. So, imagine my surprise when I made a quick run to the store and came back to a house where he and the girls were in the driveway and smoke was billowing out of our laundry area. The washing machine somehow caught fire. No, I did not say DRYER, I said WASHING MACHINE. Crazy, huh?
Normally, these kinds of things make me question God’s goodness. I know, I know—total immaturity on my part, but that’s where I go. Funny thing is I didn’t this time. In fact, it didn’t even faze me. Caroline was going on and on about how Brian “saved” them from the fire (which, btw, we never saw flames—just LOTS and LOTS of smoke) and how she needed to stay outside and breathe the “good” air. Brian pulled the clothes out of the washer and they were soaked, but smelled like my laundry detergent and not the smoky smell that had permeated everything else (the intake for our air conditioner is right next to the washing machine, so it was sending smoke throughout our house).
As we sat in the backyard, wringing clothes out and hanging them over the chairs and fence, I started laughing. I told Brian he should be glad I decided to do this load first instead of the underwear load—wouldn’t that have been a fun sight for the neighborhood!
Still not sure what caused it, but the washer is dead. Now, this is our 2nd hand-me-down washing machine. Both have been blessings, but each has had something wrong with it.
The next day, I went to the Laundromat to wash my clothes. I had a couple of offers from friends to come over to their house, but decided to knock it all out at once. When I think of Laundromats, I typically think of a hot, dirty place. Not so with our one around the corner. The air was blowing in there quite nicely and it was much cleaner than my laundry area. Lord only knows how long it’s been since I’ve wiped down the outside of my washer, but there was a man there meticulously wiping them down and keeping the place spotless.
As I was waiting on my laundry to finish, I sat at a table with my iPhone and Kindle and started to feel really guilty. And worried of what others around would think of me. I mean, who buys and iPhone and Kindle over a washing machine? If anyone noticed, they didn’t let on.
There were a few families in there. One was a beautiful young mother and daughter who looked to be about Hope’s age. She, too, had her iPhone and laptop with her and was making a list on a piece of paper with all of her monthly bills on it.
Another was a grandmother, mom and boy (who looked about 5 years old). They actually sat outside in the heat and I could hear the three of them laughing off and on. And they didn’t lack for conversation.
There was also a sweet man who looked like he was doing laundry for a big house-full. He brought in several overflowing dirty laundry baskets. He was quiet, kept to himself in the corner and had a very sad air about him.
So, as I sat there, catching up on facebook and reading my latest electronic book, I was thankful. Thankful that I had a peaceful place to wash my clothes and that God, had once again, provided for my needs. Sunday night and Monday morning, I really believed that God was going to bless us with a better washing machine. As I sat at the Laundromat, I wasn’t as confident of that anymore. BUT I was, and still am, confident that God will take care of my needs. The way He provides isn’t always the way I think would be best or easiest, but I’m really ok with washing my clothes at the Laundromat for a while. I’m sure it will get old, but it was a good reminder to me, sitting in that building, that God loves those people in there just as much as me. And that I am so very blessed with material things. Really.
I guess the thing that surprised me the most this time was that I didn’t have to consciously choose to be grateful, I genuinely was. That gives me hope. Hope that He isn’t frustrated with my pridefulness and selfishness and anger. Hope that He really does love me and is growing me in ways I can’t always see and appreciate.
Part of me is hoping we get to do our laundry there again—pretty crazy, huh?