There is less richness in McDonald’s signs
Ruling the earth by franchise
Than in a cottage industry
Where loving hands work in simplicity
There is less fullness
In church productions
Than in home cooked meals
With scripture and friends
Less wisdom in a thousand books
Than in “Love your neighbor” understood

A few months ago our family was in a Cambodian village on outreach. Of the twenty people on our team we were the only couple with kids. Alyssa and I found ourselves really trying to keep up with everyone else, but the added pressure of parenting and caring for four children often made that impossible. Just up the street from us a Cambodian lady did laundry out of her home. She had a single washer and lots of racks to hang clothes out in the sun. Twice a week I would walk over with a pile of laundry. Invariably one of the family members would be sitting in a hammock just inside the fence that surrounded her property. She would take our laundry with a big smile, and with a few words explain to us when we could pick up the laundry depending on the weather. If it was rainy, which often happens in Cambodia, we would have to wait a day or so longer. We would return at the appropriate time, and she would have our laundry neatly folded and bagged waiting for us. One day my wife and I got there a few minutes early and we were given chairs while she and her daughter folded the laundry. We walked away marveling at the care and pride she took in her work. Her kindness, smile, and excellence not only relieved the extra pressure of laundry for six from our plate. We walked away feeling loved and valued in a tangible way. It was her that I had in mind when I wrote this short poem. For me she is a fine example of someone who is participating with God in ordering the world.

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