Sunday, February 12, 2012

Clothes Dryer and the Love of God

Friday is laundry day for us, perhaps in large measure due to the tendency of the ladies who are our neighbors to cling to the tradition of the Monday wash-day. Avoid the crowd, I say, and avoid the wait.

This past Friday, as is often the case, my two dryers full of laundry, not quite getting everything dry in the allotted fifteen minutes, I threw the towels and a few pair of Wranglers into one dryer as I took the remaining items to the folding table. Five minutes later, I extracted the last items from the machine just as a gentleman approached an adjoining dryer with a load of wash. I said, "There's still time on this one if you'd like to use it." He paused long enough to look at me as though I had two heads and grunted, literally. "Unghh," which I don't rightly know how to spell.. Then he threw his load into another machine.

As I folded my remaining items, from the corner of my eye I caught him looking up from his magazine to peer at me as if the freak-show was still going on. And I thought, "What a culture we live in: one in which people have no idea how to accept a simple gift. It is as though to do so would obligate them to some favor in return. What is an appropriate quid pro quo for ten minutes of dryer time? 'Thanks' would certainly be sufficient."

I am not in any way comparing the offering of this simple courtesy to the gift of eternal life that Christ offers us, yet there is a parallel, for too many people reject God's gift. Perhaps they are suspicious that they might have to "repay" the favor by giving up something in their life which they are unwilling to relinquish.

The gift of salvation through Jesus's blood is freely offered, and to accept it is to accept life, not just for the future, but in the here and now!

Luke 14:12-14. An interesting story Jesus related.


Shelly said...

Amen! An apt comparison.

Vee said...

Great analogy!

Lin said...

Joe and I were sitting in the local police department yesterday, waiting for over 2 hours for a state trooper to show up to file a report for our fender bender on Friday. A man came into the police station, smiled and said "hello" to us and proceeded to the bullet-proof glass of the police dept dispatcher. He politely asked for assistance in getting a discount bus ticket as he needed to get back home. He couldn't find anyone at the local church and so his last resort was the police station.

After he was refused help by the police department, I handed him a couple of bucks. It wasn't enough to buy anything seedy, but it was enough for him to get a bus ticket. I figured if he came to the police for help, he must have been sincere. He was extremely grateful and thanked us over and over again. And, I might add--he never, ever asked for money. He just asked for help in getting a discounted bus ticket that they give to the poor.

Why are we so hard-pressed to help our fellow citizens? I'm not big on handing money to panhandlers, but this was a police station--where nobody would help him!

We all just seem to distrust each other these days. I don't like that very much. People are afraid to hand out kindnesses and accept them. It's just weird. We've got to trust something.....anything.

vanilla said...

Shelly, sometimes an object-lesson or moral analogy appears in our lives. I hope I can be a better "receiver of gifts."

Vee, thanks. Our hearts need to be more open both to God and to our fellows.

Lin, I thank you for sharing this story from your experiences. It is sad that we all seem to be closing in more and more on ourselves, distrust rampant. Or as Dad used to say, "Me and my wife, my son John and his wife, we four and no more." Your response to one in need is an example of God's love working through you!

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

This is a very good example.

vanilla said...

Shark, while I wasn't trying to develop a sermon, this incident impressed itself on my heart in just this way. Blessings.