Marketta Gregory: Lessons from a laundry sorter

Marketta Gregory

I really didn’t mean to cause a scene or to serve as a bad role model for my son. I was just tearing apart my laundry sorter – the kind with cheap metal bars and nylon bags for holding clothes – and doing it with a little gusto when I was “found out.”

 For three years I’d been rolling that sucker around the laundry room, stopping once or twice each trip to re-insert one of the metal bars that always seemed to work its way out of the corner joint. That fateful night, I had to stop four times to fix the crazy thing – and I hadn’t even rolled it a few feet.

And I had had it.

I started pulling apart the metal bars and dropping them one by one on the cement floor. I was not being careful or quiet, and I called my laundry sorter a name I’m ashamed of.

Apparently this caused quite a racket because my husband came running down the stairs to check on me, and our oldest son was close on his heels. I growled at Jessie to go back upstairs because I wasn’t sure I was done calling my laundry sorter names. (I allowed my husband to stay because he served four years in the Navy, and I was confident he had heard far worse while out at sea.)

Then, once all the pieces were on the floor and my husband and I had a good laugh at my expense, I called Jessie back to the basement to explain myself and to apologize. It’s a spiritual pattern that I’ve found myself repeating a lot in the last five years since Jessie came to live with us.

When we first started the adoption process, I thought God was allowing me to help Jessie. I didn’t know how much Jessie would help me.  I had all these great lessons that I wanted to teach him and characteristics that I wanted to model for him. What I found is that I’m terribly flawed – and that if you live with me, I can’t always hide my impatience or even my slowness to forgive.

I’ve tried for years to serve God, and he finally handed me a mirror with mousy brown hair and lanky arms. It’s not always a flattering picture, but it’s accurate and it keeps me honest.

Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who now shares her own journey of faith with readers. She lives in Rochester, N.Y., with her husband, their three young boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. To contact Gregory, email or write to her at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612. You can also visit the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter (@MarkettaGregory).