(I really debated with whether or not I would write about another experience I had on vacation. So, let me preempt this whole story: This is not about my actions or what I did. This is clearly about how God can work through us if we listen to Him.)
I like doing laundry. I like the smell of clean clothes, and the warm feeling of towels just pulled out of the dryer. I like for the laundry basket to be empty, and I feel a little stressed when the clothes almost reach the top. (I don’t, however, like putting the laundry away. That’s where the kids come in!)
When I’m frustrated, I’ll go start a load of laundry. When I need a few minutes alone, I’ll fold clothes. After a few days of traveling with the family this summer, imagine my excitement that our hotel had a laundromat! Ahh…The smell, the steady hum of the dryer, the time alone. I definitely needed this.
I hauled all of our dirty clothes down the elevator and sorted them into two washing machines. I sat down for a few minutes to soak in the smell of Tide and the rhythm of the dryers. I noticed that the six dryers were all full of clothes, and there was one with 20 minutes left on it. Perfect. My two loads would be finished washing around that same time, and I could put all the clothes in one dryer.
I came down about 45 minutes later, and that one dryer had stopped, but the clothes were in it. What to do? What to do? Laundromat etiquette dictates you don’t pull another person’s clothes out of the dryer and replace them with yours. That’s rude. But…it was already 9:00 at night, and I really needed this dryer. So, with my heart racing like I was committing a felony, I pulled the clothes out and put mine in.
There was a folding bench, so I very neatly folded the small load of clothes. I folded two size small ladies t-shirts, a pair of size 5 denim shorts, a baby blanket, two onesies, and some baby socks. My mind began to picture a young mom. She probably threw the clothes in the wash because her baby son had spit up all over them. Now it was late, and she was probably desperately trying to get him to sleep. Maybe she wanted to come get the clothes, but there was no way she would leave him in order to do so.
Oddly, my heart began aching for her. I prayed over each piece of clothing. I prayed for the sweet boy whose tiny toes filled those socks. I prayed that God give the mom patience and peace. I remember those hard, baby days. I also prayed that God would give her strength.
I put our clothes on to dry, went back upstairs, and came down an hour later to get them. The small pile of clothes was still where I had left them. When I laid down that night, I couldn’t get her out of my mind. I prayed for her again before dozing off.
When I woke up, she was the first thing on my mind. I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me–prompting me to let her know about God. I felt it so strongly. I knew God wanted me to write something to her.
I grabbed the hotel notepad and wrote:
“God sees you and He loves you. He knows you are going through a hard time
right now, but He is there for you. Just turn to Him. I am praying for you.”
John asked what I was doing.
“I just really feel like God is wanting this lady to know He hasn’t left her. I’m writing her a note, and if the clothes are still there, I’m supposed to leave it on them,” I responded.
“You think the clothes are still there?” he responded. I just shrugged my shoulders.
We gathered all of our bags and headed downstairs to load the car and eat breakfast. My heart began to race as I opened the door to the laundry room. I paused and turned to face the folding table. There lay the small pile of clothes. Yep…God for sure wanted her to have this note. So, I placed it halfway in the shirt on top, said another prayer, and left.
Although I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to see her response, that part wasn’t for me. I did my part. God wanted to speak to her, so I did.
The deeper my relationship grows with God, the more I am obedient to Him. And the more obedient I am, the deeper my relationship grows. Two years ago I never would have written a note, and I don’t know that I would have felt the Holy Spirit nudging me. Spending time in God’s word has changed me. Are you ready for it to change you too?
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” Romans 8:14
Photo Credit: Kristopher Roller