Since I am currently living in an RV I have to go to the laundromat every week to wash our grubby clothes.
Some things about this are just plain not fun…like folding my unmentionables in front of strange men. Since I cannot afford to just throw them out after wearing, guess I will just have to endure the trauma.
Some things are not so bad, like not having to worry about laundry all week and getting some lovely time to read. Another perk is I get to people watch.
Call me voyeur, or a weirdo if you want, but people watching is quite enjoyable.
You can learn a lot about people by watching them.
You can also learn a bit about yourself, should you choose to be introspective about the whole ordeal.
Today’s laundromat people did not disappoint.
There was a bi-racial couple who came in with their abundance of children to wash their big blankets. The kids helped mom and dad get everything in the wash then proceeded to laugh and play. Mom and dad looked on with pure adoration on their faces as they watched their kids play. It was sweet.
Next came in two grown men. After watching I assumed they were brothers. The first was a big, tattooed, hulk of a man sporting a wife beater and a long but well-groomed goatee. The other man, slightly smaller, was clearly a special needs guy. The tattoo guy was teaching him how to properly wash clothes. He mostly has a great deal of patience with his charge, but once he got a tad agitated. He was trying to hide it, but not doing a very good job. Still, it was sweet to watch him invest in another persons life, taking the time to teach him such a simple yet critical skill.
As I was finishing up folding the clothes couple came in. Soon they began to have a conversation that left me feeling pretty sorry for the girl, and wondering if Jesus could somehow let the guy know that were it not for His saving grace, the dude would be going down today. Basically he was letting her know that he never intended to marry her. Ever. She then asked him to look outside and check on the kids. He said they were fine. As I went out to load my baskets in the car I expected to see a couple of older kids playing on the sidewalk. I was shocked to see two toddlers, strapped into their car seats, in their car. It was HOT today, it reached 84 degrees, and these kids were in the car with widows simply opened enough to keep them from overheating, but not enough for them to be comfortable. I was sick. Not only that, this particular laundromat has a lovely play area with tons of toys for children. The youngest caught my eye and smiled and waved wildly. I wanted to crawl in the car and hug him, pull him to my lap and let him know how very much he is loved by the King of Kings.
Of course I didn’t because if you think people watching is weird…that hasn’t anything on crawling into a strangers car to love on their child.
Needless to say I was feeling a whole lot LESS sorry for the mother and even more angry with the guy.
It was such a stark contrast to the first family who clearly loved and cared for their children with such devotion. It was such a change from the tattoo guy who had committed his time and teaching to help another.
Since I am feeling introspective today, I have been thinking on this all afternoon.
It really was a beautiful picture of how followers of Christ are supposed to behave. We are called to love each other, to value children and delight in them, to serve one another in ways that may seem silly and mundane, yet we are called to lay down our lives for others, in the ways that they need…not the ways we feel like.
Yet how many who say they love Jesus don’t love the way we are called. Are unwilling to make the commitment and sacrifice that comes with truly loving and serving others. We want all the nice fringe benefits that come with Jesus, but do not truly want the commitment He calls for.
Some days I’m not much different from that man who brazenly proclaimed his lack of commitment to his girl. No, I would never say with my words that I won’t really commit to Jesus….but how often do I say it with my actions?
Far too often.
How often do I truly love my children. Delighting in them. It happens to be sure. However, there far too many times that I regulate them to their “car seat” so that my life can be a bit easier.
How many opportunities to love and serve do I pass up each and everyday?
I know that just like that couple is missing out on beautiful things because of their choices, I too am missing out on beautiful things because of mine.
I want Jesus. All of Him.
I want to serve Him the way He calls me to. All of the time.
I want to love the way he calls me to. All of the time.
In order to do that I must die.
My flesh is so very strong.
Thankfully Jesus is stronger.
By His grace, each day, He brings me closer to what I ought to be, and loves me even when I don’t come close.
This girl is mighty thankful for that grace.