The Difference

I recently had the joy of spending a few days this summer in the home of my dear friend in South Dakota. From dawn ‘til dusk, my friend’s five, little blessings ran around in baseball caps and tutus (sometimes at the same time) alternately playing doctor, reading books, putting together puzzles, working in the garden, and “helping” Mommy. My friend’s home is delightful chaos, and I found myself basting in the youthful commotion until my barren-weariness was good and tenderized from all of the love and attention.

I stayed long enough to need a load of laundry done, and my friend generously offered me the use of her washer and dryer. I popped down to her basement with my laundry bag in hand, and I almost tripped over my own dropped jaw at the sight of her laundry room floor.

There, sitting in an organized row, were six, full laundry baskets. Six! Upon closer inspection, I noticed that some of the laundry baskets even had extra baskets stacked underneath them. I counted them all. Sixteen. My friend owns sixteen laundry baskets!

All of those blessings running around upstairs obviously came with some dirty, back-breaking responsibility. Their life of playing and growing and learning resulted in my friend needing more laundry baskets than I have fingers on my hands. The term “mountain of laundry” took on a whole new meaning for me. I looked down at my wimpy lavender and lime green polka-dotted laundry bag and felt kind of embarrassed at its meager size.

I went upstairs and asked my friend, “Do you ever use all of those laundry baskets at the same time?”

She blushed. “Yes. Don’t tease me!”

“Um, that doesn’t warrant teasing. That warrants a maid!”

Here is the difference: I yearn for more laundry, and my friend yearns for less. I crave a little more chaos, and she craves a little more privacy. We can see the blessings and the burdens in each others lives. What a gift it is to know and trust that God in His wisdom and love gives both of us good gifts, and what a privilege it is to pray for each other and support one another in the body of Christ.

I hope my friend can come visit me in Dallas. I think she will be refreshed by the quiet and solitude of my home, just as I was refreshed by the perpetual, snuggly motion in her own. Though I may leave my laundry room door closed when she comes…