Lessons at the Laundromat

I wasn’t happy about going back to the laundromat two hours after having just left. But I forgot to do something, got a call, and back I went. I parked my car in the lot and the first thing I saw was a guy tossing apiece of garbage out of his truck window right in front of my store. I huffed and puffed as I walked over to pick it up. I threw in a scowl as I went inside to throw it away. Once inside, I did what I had originally come back to do,which literally only took a minute. Just as I was locking the office door to leave, another problem presented itself.

Earlier in the day I had called to have a client moved to another location because we did not have room to accommodate their return vehicle (we also rent U-Haul trucks). But a young woman quickly made her way over to me with keys in hand. I told her we had no room, and she would need to find somewhere else to take the rental. Surprisingly, she didn’t seem too upset; even though it was not her fault or responsibility. I hung around for a bit to make sure they did not leave the vehicle. After about ten minutes I could see that they were having no luck, so I offered to call the next closest location for them. Unfortunately, they had no room there either. I just shrugged and told the customer that she would need to call the corporate office to find some other place.

After another ten minutes, they were still sitting in the parking lot. Of course, I was feeling guilty. I tapped on her car window and told her how surprised I was that they, her father and a friend, were not mad or throwing a fit (and in my three years of doing this business, trust me, anyone else would have). They were just calmly trying to figure it out. Her father told me that his daughter, who rented the truck, had to be somewhere in fifteen minutes. I told them just to park the truck on the side of the building, and I would deal with the repercussions. I really only did it because they were absolutely so kind about a situation that they had no control over. The father smiled and thanked me.

After he parked the truck and handed me the keys, the father mentioned the Israeli flag we keep in our office window. I told him that most of us here are Christians and that we love Israel and the Jewish people. He smiled again and asked me if I knew what a Messianic Jew was. Absolutely, I smiled back. I told him he and his family were truly representing Christ well. Such great attitudes. I went back into the office to get him a Christian CD I had written for a band called Seven Years. I gave him the CD and he gave me a hug in return.

It was a brief encounter with many blessings. For one, I know that I must continue to grow in my ability to be patient with others, and to extend favor beyond what I might, in the moment, desire. You never know who is watching or participating. As I headed back to my car, the man in the truck (that threw out the garbage), came up to me and apologized. I smiled and apologized to him for huffing and puffing when picking it up and told him that I should have done it with joy. I’m not sure if he knew what I meant, “Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to people,” as it says in Ephesians 6:7. I gave him my Christian CD as well. He received it with a thankful heart.

I too am thankful. What started out feeling like a burden,trudging back to work, ended up strengthening my character. I’m thankful that God works at all times—in His way. I simply need to show up and behave.

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2 Responses to Lessons at the Laundromat

  1. Helena Manser says:

    Thanks for sharing. Very inspiring and a good reminder to all of us. Hope you guys are doing well.



  2. Good for you that you became open to having your personal plans interrupted. So often, I am so self absorbed (hurriedly trying to scratch off tasks from my “To Do” list that I don’t even notice what’s happening with people around me.

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