Laundry & listening

by susan on October 3, 2014

laundry of loveLast Sunday, we ventured to one of our neighborhood laundromats for an alternative way of connecting with God and our neighbors.  As a church in a community where the median income is still much lower than the rest of Jacksonville (2011 median was $29,128 vs. $44,802 for Jacksonville at large), there are many families who struggle to make ends meet. One of the most basic economic strains is the cost of doing laundry week after week. It’s not only a financial hassle ($7 for one large load of wash alone!); laundromats can be pretty dreary places. We were even told last time we visited, some women feel unsafe coming alone for fear something may happen to them. We also learned that this particular laundromat has been a known place for drug activity.

While the financial support was appreciated, what seemed most significant was the opportunity to get to know our neighbors by spending time with them. People shared stories, asked questions, played together, prayed for one another, made connections and practiced gratitude.  One woman met me later in the week. She needed a safe space to deal with the grief of losing her brother just the week before.

It was a beautiful morning of being church together and as Todd Putney expressed so well in his follow-up blog post, God showed up. My prayer is that we would continue to listen and learn from one another as we try to be a tangible expression of God’s peace and love in this place. Isn’t that what church should be?

Till we meet again,

Susan

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