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  • Writer's pictureLeanne W. Smith

Maytag: A Redemption Story

We were new to the town of Gainesboro—not a thriving metropolis; rather, a solid little town of salt-of-the-earth Middle Tennesseans surrounded by rolling hillsides. The church sat on Murray Street, one block off Main, and the members had just hired a young preacher...the same man I married.

We had lived there only briefly, but long enough for me to visit the laundromat. We came to the sprawling brick home provided for us from a duplex, and among our lack of furniture was a washer and dryer.

Even so, I’d never been to a laundromat. I had hauled many a basket of soiled laundry to my parents’ home, but now I lived too far to make that weekly trek.

Within days after having a couple of clothing items ruined by the well-worn commercial appliances at the local laundromat, a D.T. McCall & Sons truck parked on the curb in front of our sparsely furnished home.

A man came to the door and said he’d brought us our new washer and dryer. 

“No—there’s obviously been a mistake!” I said. “We’ve not ordered a washer and dryer.” I knew we didn’t have the money to pay for them. But the man insisted his order form said to deliver the appliances to our address.

One of the local members pulled up, hopped from his car grinning, and proceeded to give me a first-hand lesson in redemption.

A generous soul who wished to remain unnamed…someone who heard a rumor that the local laundromat was unkind to my clothing…wrote a check on Sunday, handed it to the smiling church member and said, “Go get those kids a new washer and dryer.”

They were Maytags. Cream-colored. And they kept us in clean clothing for the next twenty-five years.

Redemption is the clearing of a debt. I’ve had a few kind strangers pay for my coffee in line at the pick-up window at Starbucks, but those Maytags were the most generous financial debt-clearing my husband and I had experienced to that date.


The act of saving or being saved.

The clearing of a debt.

Pardon, saving, absolution, retrieval, recovery.

When I consider the spiritual debt-clearing Christ made to cover my sins, the Maytag logo often flashes in my mind.

Redemption is one of the major themes in my new book, A Contradiction to His Pride. Redemption is important to me on so many levels, mainly because I need it and I’m banking on it. Without redemption, my hope is dashed.

I often pray that God will help me redeem the time. Buy it back. Make it count. Take the unearned gift of it, and put it toward good uses…like a twenty-five year-old cream-colored Maytag.

I hope you enjoy the book, and I hope you feel it’s a good use of your time.

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