Monday, March 7, 2011

Simple Service

I awoke this morning thinking about my hours spent at the laundromat yesterday.  Grace arrived on time for services like every Sunday, bringing her house laundry she does house (wash, towels, sheets etc) on Sunday and personal clothes washing on Wednesday.  This she said gives her balance and ensures all areas of her life are refreshed once a week.  So while her towels and sheets washed and dried we took turns reading from different scriptures.  This Sunday she read from the Bhagavad gita and I read a passage from Romans. 

Grace read from the Karma Yoga article

"To action alone hast thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of action be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction"(2.47)[52]

I then read: Romans 4:3-5

"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

Grace said Amen, and then went to fold her laundry, handing me a clean table cloth to place on the folding table.  We each made a few treats as we found that everyone doing their laundry that Sunday could also enjoy, cookies, cake or crackers and cheese.  We never overdid it and this Sunday she made some cupcakes a variety of chocolate and strawberry (I prefer chocolate so I was quite happy).  We also had some water and coffee and tea.  Everyone chatted for a while then Grace and I would pull up a couple of chairs and discuss the scriptures we read. 

I really enjoyed this part because here I am running a laundromat on the eastside of the city and getting to discuss the worlds religious scriptures with a professor emeritus with a Masters in World Religion. I felt extremely fortunate and our conversations usually always lasted for a couple of hours.

We first started with what we thought the meaning of "let not the fruits of action be thy motivation..." .   Well I let Grace speak first because she knew where she was taking this.  Grace said she thought that we as believers in a creator needed to beware of our actions and not to always expecting something given back when we are choosing to give. For example;  if we serve and help others here at the laundromat on Sunday providing food and drink, we can not expect them to give back to us, or expect others to look at us as special,  that the service we do for others is sufficient unto itself. I really liked how she explained that and understood and fully agreed with that.  She poured me another cup of coffee and then we started on the next reading.

Here is where I had to come in with something to throw out to start the discussion, I took the phrase "knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:" from what I read outloud.

I had to confess to Grace that this verse really hit home for me, by the sheer fact that I lost my dear husband Frank last year about this time to a heart attack.  To say the least I am just starting to get over it, and getting used to be alone.  Losing Frank I said was definitely a tribulation for my soul and it took a lot of time and patience to come to and accept the understanding that he was not coming back to me.  Then I added that yes, learning patience and living with the experience of loss was finally after all this time blossoming into hope.  A hope that there is more for me to do here and I had to let Frank go so I could do it. 

That is about as much as I could get out and Grace could see that.  She said, "My dear one I really think that is enough for this Sunday, don't you?  Here let's clean up and we can talk again later in the week."

I agreed, for talking about Frank was something I had not found myself talking about at all since I lost him and I really did not know it would hit me so hard.  I thanked Grace for her kindness, and I helped her load her clean linens into her car and said good-bye. 

In watching her drive away, I knew it was good for me to talk about Frank and maybe I will talk about him a little more during the week. I thought about it as I wrote this memo but no more for today on what happend Sunday and I am calling it a day.  For I am still a little taken back so I will leave it another day until tomorrow. 

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Amazing Grace how Sweet the Sound that saved a Wretch like me...