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Tending Your Soul
Sacred Encounters

Dripping Laundry

Living on a fixed income dictates a wide variety of personal choices, one if which is the location of my residence. I inspected and subsequently rented an apartment that was clean, spacious, boasted of its own outside entrance and fit comfortably into my personal budget. The fact that some of my colleagues worried about my safety in “that neighborhood” never really worried me and generally I felt very content within my home.

I was curious when I arrived home from work one afternoon to find the basement lights blazing and my washer and dryer in mid-cycle. Mine were the only ones down in my unlocked basement, so I needed to check things out. A brief conversation with others in my building only intensified the mystery since no one knew anything about it. With a little trepidation, I removed the wet laundry, put a large sign on the machine indicating where to find it and lugged the laundry basket upstairs. As I plopped the basket on the kitchen floor a thought rushed into my head: “Mother Teresa of Calcutta would never do this. She would offer to finish the load and fold it.” I have to admit I laughed right out loud. I’ve never compared myself with someone considered a saint. Even though I felt petty, I informed the young man who came to claim the laundry that he would have to pay me for using the washer. When he returned with a handful of change, I returned his dripping clothes.

Compassionate God, I feel small and stingy of heart. Using Mother Teresa as a person of comparison was a brilliant move on your part. You certainly caught my attention with a humorous flash of insight. You must shake your head in wonder as I struggle to let you teach me your ways.

Reflection/Discussion:
What image, feeling, question or memory of yours surfaces as you read this story?

Have you ever been a bit shocked by your reaction to a person or situation? What happened? Can you imagine something God wanted you to learn from that?