19 Sep
Dirty Laundry

Our washer broke a couple of weeks ago. It can be fixed. Therefore, a new one was not purchased. Decisions lurk, waiting to be made in tandem, while one partner is absent. Meanwhile, the mountains and mountains of dirty clothes grow exponentially every day. 

A friend offered her house as a place to hang while in town, then offered the use of her washer and dryer. I loaded up the car with a couple of laundry baskets (a fraction of the mound that needs to be tackled), intending to take care of business. The day did not go as planned. I hauled the dirty clothes back home again. 

Day two I brought them back to town. This time, I’d cleared my morning schedule to prioritize the washing. I didn’t get everything finished, however, before needing to get to an appointment. Dirty clothes got stuffed back into the car. 

While at this appointment, I mentioned spending the day awkwardly attempting to do laundry and failing miserably. I heard myself say out loud, “No one wants to haul their dirty laundry around everywhere.” We laughed and laughed at the thought—how true!—and here I am, literally carrying it with me. 

Since then, I can’t stop thinking about the car loads of junk we’re all metaphorically carrying around with us—feeling dirty, disheveled, overwhelmed, vulnerable, and embarrassed. I remember several previous conversations about not “doing our dirty laundry in the street.” Some things are just best kept at home. 

Another friend called, “I’m doing my laundry today so my machine will be open to you all day tomorrow if you need it.” The Spirit’s voice exploded in my chest, “This is family. This is how we care for one another. Everyone, every day, creates dirty laundry—especially active families. Let your community serve you and release your embarrassment. Let others know about your mess… and be poised to help with theirs.” 

I don’t know what unmentionables you’re carrying, or where, but I do know we’re all the same. We all have messes—and some days they turn to mountains. Maybe it’s okay not to leave them at home, hidden away, unresolved, and getting stinkier by the moment. Maybe we, as disciples of Jesus, can really, truly learn to be gracious to each other and lend our washing machines without judgement. 

“All the believers were together and had everything in common.” (Acts 2:44) 

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Lk 6:37-38)

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