This post by my friend and colleague Misty Honnold, the founder of The Single Mom, KC was first seen over at 1Corinthians13Parenting.com . It is a beautiful reminder of the unexpected places a king, a priest, a messiah may be found. Read this and allow Misty’s words to touch your heart as they have mine. Have a blessed Christmas. And know Jesus, God with us, really is with us. ~Lori
“Oftentimes, when I find myself in difficult or obscure situations I imagine. I use my imagination to find Jesus; I wonder, “Where would Jesus be in this? What would He be doing? How would He feel?” Through these imaginings of my heart, I discover HIM; His thoughts, His feelings and I learn more about Him.
On Christmas Eve I found myself in one of these situations as I sat in the Laundromat, wondering how I got here. At the age of 52, when life is suppose to be at it’s best I am in the Laundromat; alone with all the other people who have no place better to be on Christmas Eve. I have avoided the Laundromat all of my adult life. For me it represented being stuck in the cycle of poverty. As a child we went to the Laundromat until that Christmas when we came home from church on Christmas Eve and my mom was flabbergasted by the gift of a NEW washer and dryer in our home. What a blissful holiday that was for my mom. We had finally arrived; no more Laundromat trips! We were rich.
Yet, here I sit. I feel sadness and sorrow knock on my door, wanting to invite me into a place of darkness, so I begin to imagine.
The place is a hub of activity and the nations are gathered. Suddenly I realize, THIS is the kind of place Jesus would visit. He would come and engage these people and he would fascinate them. He came to bring light and this is JUST the kind of place he would wander into with His 12 friends, in fact, He may come to the Laundromat to gather some of those intimate friends. Maybe some of these Hispanic men who are here today would be called to walk by His side. To me they seem a little rough and intimidating. But as I imagine, I see Immanuel draw close to a few of them, and whisper in their ear, “Come follow me.” Who knows the adventure He is inviting them into! And I pray; “Lord, let them hear your voice and like the ones you called 2000 years ago, let them follow you.”
There are the single women, like myself and I wonder at their holiday plans. Some are young, possibly estranged from family, others older, perhaps this is the first year they are alone, or one of many. I watch the Comforter step in close to these daughters and surround them in love-light and I pray: “Jesus, let them feel the warmth of your great love this season. Let them see the light of your beauty and KNOW they are not alone.”
There are single men there too. They get in and out quickly; not seeming to have too many things to tend to, eyes downcast. I catch the attention of a few and smile a genuine smile. Who knows what they return home to? Jesus does and I pray, “Jesus, as they return home meet them there and bring joy to their day.”
Ah, the young couple with sleeping baby. I wonder what challenges their relationship has suffered. I imagine the outstretched arms of a loving Savior holding them together as one. He fights for marriages even when we don’t see it. “Jesus, thank you that nothing is too difficult for you; bind them together and draw them to you…that they may be One even as You and the Father are one.”
Then Indian young men come in, laughing and wondering what to do. Fortunately the attendant sees their dilemma and steps in to show them how to operate the machines. I imagine the God who sees them, far away from family this holiday yet finding family in one another. Although I have no clue what they are saying, He is laughing with them, engaged in their banter. “Jesus, you are the God who rejoices over us. Let these men feel your delight in them and let them enjoy fellowship with you.”
After all of these years have I missed something?
Maybe the Laundromat is a sign of freedom. I don’t have to think about laundry for another few weeks. Maybe the Laundromat is a sign of freedom from the things that so easily entangle us (like laundry).
Maybe the Laundromat is an invitation to enter into rest. At home, I throw a load in and am off to the next thing, diligent not to waste any time. Yet here, there is nothing but time; time to wait, reflect and pause on all the ‘to dos’ of life.
Maybe the Laundromat is a place to meet with Jesus.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Savior is given…
He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
As I leave, I thank Him for showing up in the midst of my sorrow and self-pity. I thank Him for bringing freedom and hope when I could have slipped into despair. And I thank Him for coming into the world, my world, the Laundromat and walking among the people and allowing me to joy of encountering HIM today.”
By Misty Honnold
Mother of 2 adult girls, 2 adult sons & 2 amazing son-in-laws (married to daughters)
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Executive Director and Founder of The Single MOM KC
Hostess of Mocha Moments For The Single MOM
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.