Snap Judgment

My laundromat was scary the other day and I sinned.

Across the street from a boarded-up restaurant and a shady-looking place labeled the Portuguese-American club, the Crisp & Clean has a simple layout: a narrow aisle skirted on both sides by washing machines leads to dryers in the rear. The design itself isn’t scary, but the thought of being trapped beyond the washers is. And this thought set me on edge the other day when I found there not only a lighting deficiency in the rear section, but also a large and ethnically diverse crowd of patrons, including a homeless-looking man.

And I hastily identified him as a threat. He would want to steal my clothes, right? He might pin me in the corner and demand money. So I kept my eye on him. And my things. Even as the crowd of young Hispanic guys left and an immigrant couple rolled their neatly-folded laundry out in an old shopping cart, I spied on him.

But watching him pull his things from the dryer, I soon regretted my prejudice. I spotted a quiver. Yep, a quiver. A trembling left hand. And my heart broke as piece by piece, he labored to overcome this debilitating, and no-doubt fortune-changing, tremor to simply fold his laundry. With one stable hand and one erratic, he lifted each garment, folded it, and dropped it into his cardboard box. God, forgive me.

He eventually finished. And heading for the door with his things, he looked at me perched there by the door and said, “take care.” And then, “God bless.”

Ugh.

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~ by shad on January 30, 2009.

5 Responses to “Snap Judgment”

  1. Shad, I’ve just arrived to my office to work on this Saturday morning as I was out of town Friday. But just read your post and am finding myself just sitting here staring at the wall…thank you for the fresh snapshot of Jesus, my friend, you have served well those who read your blog.

  2. wow!

  3. Yes, but the Holy Spirit prodded you to see this guy through God’s eyes, and that saved the day. You did have compassion on him in the end, and that’s great. Good blog.

  4. Enjoyed reading your blog!

    Stopping by from the Blog Guild.

  5. Ditto on Mike Gothard. Just when you judge most and wrongly, the judgement bounces back in the most unsual manner – no coincidence.

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