Imagine living in a World where everyone had your back. Imagine living in a World where
everyone had enough to eat because you do. This imaginary World looks out for the most vulnerable of its members and welcomes widows and war vets and children and strangers and skeptics to a table which is large enough to accommodate the needs and the concerns of all. Everyone shares in the abundance they have, and in doing so, includes everyone else.
In this World the judges are just and the neighbors are too. The majority of this World is involved with making the World that they live in an even better place. They ponder justice, and continually imagine a World even better than the one they live in.
God’s Vision for the World and God’s Jubilee are much like the World described above. God is on record saying that “There shall be no poor among you”. Now, either God is a living contradiction with God’s pronouncement, or, God never intended the World to be like we find it today. God’s plans for Jubilee and equity for all humanity has simply never been practiced. It is curious that God’s provisions for justice and this ‘Theology of Enough’ where never practiced or realized as part of law observance.
Today we have many ideas about poverty and about how to make things just and right for our neighbors. We have come to realize that a dichotomy between us and our neighbors is a dichotomy between us and God. For whatever you have done for anyone, you have done it for God. We come to realize that even the most giving among us needs to be more chartable in things like speech, tone and having a healthy, holistic view of our brothers and sisters that share in our humanity.
Emerging out of the intersection of trying to live out God’s trajectory of grace and to expand the common table and to reimagine what inclusion and justice look like, comes Laundry Love. For some time we have been collecting pennies and quarters and dollars for a night when the poor among us could do their laundry without bearing the expense. It is a tangible way of telling our neighbor “I got your back. Relax, feel welcome.”
To most of us, laundry is not an economic issue (until it is). We take for granted that we must use both time and money to wash our clothes, and put that necessity on a to do list. We never imagine that we won’t be able to do laundry when the time comes. To most of us laundry is more a matter of inclination, rather than means.
Imagine you sleep in your clothes at night, in the dirt and grime and sweat you have accumulated. But instead of washing them, you simply have to air them out. Imagine that you have multiple children and live in a laundry desert (where the closest Laundromat is miles from you), and have to wait two weeks or a month, to get enough money to afford to do laundry. Imagine that you have a bus pass to get to the Laundromat, but your son’s bus pass ran out yesterday and childcare simply isn’t an option. Imagine that when the time comes to do your laundry you miscalculated how much money it was going to take to accomplish your task (after having spent an hour pulling everything together, waiting for and then riding the bus to the Laundromat). You are 6 quarters short. Where do you turn?
This is the breach we seek to stand in. To our brothers and sisters, to ourselves, we seek to include them and hopefully they will include us.