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Behind Closed Doors

(In the following true account, names and some identifying details have been changed.)

Pastor Dale Youngstrom stepped onto the throw rug inside the front door of his house. He unbuttoned his shirt, kicked off his shoes, and loosened his belt to let his pants down. A pile of clean clothes had been painstakingly stacked on the rug. Before taking another step into the house, he picked up the clean clothes, slipped them on, and tossed his office clothes into a waiting laundry basket.

As Dale moved into the kitchen, sunlight danced through the window onto the wet countertop Rhonda was washing. Her Swedish- blond hair bobbed as she turned.

"How was your day, Honey?" Dale asked, looking into her blue eyes. That's a switch, he thought. She looks happy.

Hard was the only word Dale could think of to describe the last five years of marriage. Rhonda had become a "washer"; she was paranoid about contamination and germs. She demanded that Dale and their two children, Jessica and Sammy, change into clean ...

July/August
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