When Marlene and I moved into the last house we owned, we decided to buy a new dryer to match our recently purchased washing machine. The current dryer worked fine…it was old and didn’t match, but it still ran just fine.

We didn’t want to be too overtaken by American consumerism so we decided to balance out the cosmos by giving our dryer away. We weren’t going to sell it like those other, less self-aware Christians, using the proceeds for another overindulgent meal at Olive Garden. No, we would give it away, no strings attached.

Now God only needed to provide a person in need. We considered putting an ad in the paper. First come, first served. Take it as is.

Before we could do that, I heard a knock on the door. Our next door neighbor stood awaiting a response…

We stuck out like a sore thumb in our neighborhood, being one of only two Anglo families on the street. We moved there to downsize, save some money, and attempt to actually live out our faith (Galatians 5:6b – “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love”). And God took us up on that offer on more than one occasion.

I recounted this move and the motivation behind it a few weeks earlier to my ordination committee. I told them that we were hoping to express the love of Jesus in some tangible ways that we couldn’t in the suburban neighborhood we’d lived, surrounded by retired white people with needs met by children and a pension check every month.

I befriended our next door neighbors early on. Or maybe I should say that they befriended me. Fresh off the ordination interview, I was mowing my lawn when they asked if they could use my equipment for their lawn. Of course the answer was yes, so I let go of my unhealthy connection to stuff that I own and helped them mow, weed-eat, and edge their yard.

So, when the father stood at my door wanting to know if they could use our dryer, I knew God was up to something.

Be careful what you wish for…cause you just might get it…and have your bubble burst beyond repair.

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