30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 13 – Clean Clothes

Okay, so clean clothes may not seem like a big deal, but when everything you own has been saturated by fire hoses and/or permeated by the smoke of a house fire, putting on a shirt the smell of which doesn’t transport you right back to “that day” is something you readily appreciate. 
In the first several hours that followed the fire that destroyed our home, the well-wishes and “let us know if you need anything” offers poured in. But one couple surprised me when they offered to do something specific. They offered to take our clothes and linens and wash the smoke smell out of them.
My first response was, “Thanks. I’ll keep it in mind,” while I inwardly thought, “That won’t be necessary. I’ve got this.”
A few days later, when I was facing the task of washing everything we own (and rewashing it), my pride was tucked cleanly away, and I made the phone call. “Does that offer still stand?”
Of course, it did, and I humbly dropped off everything that had been hanging in our closets, all the sheets and towels that were in the linen closets, and various other miscellaneous smelly items at the home of a couple of friends I had not seen in over fifteen years – someone I had attended church with many years earlier and had only recently reconnected with through The Town Messenger, a webzine I started publishing last year.
Today, Sunday, I picked up a few things I needed for work, and I was thrilled at how nice and clean and fresh everything smelled. I could swear that my clothes had never smelled so good.
This is what family is all about – the Body of Christ doing what we can for each other. Giving of ourselves does not have to be extravagant to be effective. For me, the time and energy someone took to wash my clothes was one of the sweetest gifts I have received in a long time.
And for what it’s worth, what made them think of this thoughtful offering was the fact that they had been through a tornado several years ago, so they understand first-hand what practical needs arise when a disaster destroys your home. Out of hard times comes the capacity to help someone else – but that’s a message for another time.  
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2 Responses to 30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 13 – Clean Clothes

  1. Lee Ann says:

    love your insight to this tragic event. As the fires raged here in Magnolia, we saw them in a different light as well. Love to your family.

  2. Thanks, Lee Ann. Love to you and yours, too!