The Lord said to Moses: “Give Aaron and his sons this command: ‘These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar. The priest shall then put on his linen clothes, with linen undergarments next to his body, and shall remove the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed on the altar and place them beside the altar. Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean. The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
- Leviticus 6:8-13
“‘Any bed the man with a discharge lies on will be unclean, and anything he sits on will be unclean. Anyone who touches his bed must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. Whoever sits on anything that the man with a discharge sat on must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
“‘Whoever touches the man who has a discharge must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
“‘If the man with the discharge spits on anyone who is clean, they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
- Leviticus 15:4-8
The landlady’s dryer is not working properly. It can dry a small load of light clothing, nothing heavy, if you run the dryer for 40-50 minutes for three or four times, waiting at least a half hour after each attempt, 4-5 hours to do a small load of light clothing. Heavy clothing and towels remain wet. The gas burner does not light if the dryer is hot. We have not called to complain. Frankly, with the doctor schedule over the next few weeks, there is not a day in which we can wait around all day just to find that the repair man was not going to show up anyway.
Since it is only the dryer, I have been going to the laundromat, a few short blocks from our home. Odd, a few short blocks, but going from an old blue-collar neighborhood with little crime to the center of illegal drugs for the area.
I washed all the laundry by mid-morning and got to the laundromat in time to be home by lunch. There was no one parked out front. There was no one in the laundromat at all. I think the manager was in the back, but there was only the noise of some movement of chairs behind the wall of dryers. The thing is that in three weeks of drying the clothes there, there was always someone in the place when I got there and almost always people there when I left.
As I was drying the towels, all I had on this trip, I realized why.
The temperature was in the mid-90s Fahrenheit outside, very hot by Pittsburgh standards, especially in June, when this was written. Inside with no air conditioning and no wind to circulate the air, the heat from the dryers made it over 100 degrees.
I have written before that I have difficulty with high heat index situations. I have had heat exhaustion on numerous occasions. I endured and folded most of the clothing before I thought better of it. I drove home with the air conditioning on MAX A/C. I finished folding the last few towels with the air conditioning blowing directly on me.
I could say that it was too late. I felt ill the rest of the day, extremely exhausted. But I was not too late; I survived.
That got me to think about why I was by myself the entire time.
The people that frequent the place all the time know how hot it gets. The people who are temporarily without a washer or dryer probably are aware of that too. When I left, I was one huge ball of sweat. Actually, I had felt the heat blast me in the face when I entered the laundromat. It had felt like when I got off the airplane at midnight in Bangkok, Thailand. It was a wall of oppressive heat. These other people knew it was dangerous in that room in the middle of the day. Even if they were down to their last underwear, they could turn it inside out and make it another day (an old German tradition that we experienced in the late 70s). After all, you would never know that the smell was new sweat or day-old sweat. Being smelly was better than passing out on the floor of the laundromat.
I only survived a few hours after getting home and putting away the laundry. I had to shower to try to cool my body down more. I still did not feel good after the shower, but I felt well enough to press on.
But, just for a moment, I looked around after I had dried off and put on my pajamas. There were clothes in the laundry hamper, the clothes I had worn while going to the laundromat. Could I do a load in the morning, or wait a couple of days?
I will check the weather first.
And I will remember and pray for those who have no other choice than to use laundromats or wash their clothing in the middle of the night at the river. We often do not think of how our conveniences make our life easier until they do not work properly.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
Very good way to end this account, Mark. Rather than lamenting or getting angry over our inconveniences, as believers we should think more how others are not even fortunate enough to own the conveniences we so take for granted.
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