“[God] . . . comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NASV)


It was a day pretty much like any other. I did a load of wash and then put it in the dryer, adjusted the heat setting and pushed “START,” without a conscious thought. All went as expected until I realized the dryer had stopped after a few rounds. I thought, “My, how time flies!” I opened the dryer to unload, but ugh--the clothes were warm but still wet.


What could be wrong with my faithful co-worker? Possibly this was simply “operator error.” However, when I looked at the dryer’s panel, there was a flashing “E1.” Huh? What in the world does “E1” signify? Is my dryer trying to communicate to me?


What now?


Possibly you can relate to my dilemma or probably have had much worse happen lately, and like in poker you could “see” my dryer stoppage and “raise” me a house a-fire.  


Whenever that stone wall of difficulties falls, most of us are not surprised, possibly even saying, “Of course, my dryer broke--company’s coming, including my mother-in-law! Ok, God, why do You hate me?!”


I decided to go a different route this time. “Lord,” I asked, “what should I do with these wet sheets and quilts?” Then I whined and felt sorry for myself for a bit. Suddenly, I remembered seeing a length of strong cord while cleaning out the barn. I grabbed it and had just enough (not even kidding) to stretch between 2 mature holly trees, the only ones out of range of hackberry tree drips.


My poor neighbors probably had a fit when they drove by while my laundry was flapping in the breeze near my front fence. However, when I gathered the dried items from the line, their wonderfully fresh-breeze aroma reminded me of washdays of my childhood and how excited I was to sleep on sheets and underneath quilts that had soaked up sunshine while drying outside.


Last night as I got into bed, I thanked God for my broken, electric dryer because it reminded me of how hard my grandmother and mother had had to work just so we would have clean clothes and bed linens, and then also gifted and comforted me with that wonderful smell I had totally forgotten.


I have delayed fixing my dryer; I will hang laundry outside until temperatures become too cold; however, to spare my neighbors any more horror and shock, I’ll keep my underclothes inside and out of sight.


Besides, they are lucky it was the dryer and not the toilet---totally different outdoor solution, as well as a totally different smell!