The Laundromat


Is there a specific place and situation that always brings out the worst in you? Ask the Lord to help you in this.

For the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. —Proverbs3:26 (niv)

The place I find it hardest to act like a good person of faith is at the Laundromat. I visit once a year during spring cleaning at our beach rental house. I come in staggering under enough bedspreads, mattress covers, and blankets to do eleven loads in the biggest super-duper washers they have.

I realized I had a serious problem the year I pushed my cart over to the dryer and came back and found a retired couple using my yellow bottle of detergent that I’d left on top of the washer. Of course I said something to them, and they had the audacity to act like it was theirs! Five minutes later, I discovered my bottle of detergent hidden under dirty blankets in my cart. I apologized but felt like dirty clothes inside.

After that, I started praying in advance of my Laundromat trip. And I’m always glad because my character is usually tested in some new way. One year it was a stranger who told me she wanted to get out of an abusive relationship when the man she was arguing with left to get change. I wasn’t sure if she was sincere or conning me to get a handout, but I prayed with her and got the number of a local abuse hotline to slip to her before the guy came back.

This year I was sorely tested by a woman who let her two girls chase each other around the table where I was trying to fold queen-size spreads. I learned that it’s good to remember my past mistakes when I’m in a place where my worst side usually comes out.

Dear Father, here’s the specific place and situation that always brings out the worst in me. I need Your help, so I can give it my best shot to be a good person even when I’m there. Amen.

Written by Karen Barber

Digging Deeper: Is 64:6; Rom 7:15–25; 1 Jn1:7–9

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