Laundry and The Cross with M.E.

For full disclosure, I should start with telling you I love doing laundry.  No wait, that should read more like this: I  LOVE doing laundry… as long as it has to be hung on a line.  For me there is something very peace-creating about the silent work of taking a heavy wet piece of fabric, shaking out the wrinkles and hanging it neatly on the line.  Even better is coming back later to take it down, fresh, crisp, clean, and wrinkle free.

M.E. feels much the same about her life laundry- sins of omission and commission- and hanging them on the cross.  She writes of a Russian priest who would share that image with those he counseled and she found it very helpful.  I would have to say, I do too.

That basket of wet clothes is heavy.  So are the weights of sin and humanity in my life some days.  Or rather, some days I notice the weight more than others.  Lately that weight has been heavy.  It has been a hard year.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining.  Life hands us patches of heavy laundry and I am grateful I have them but they really are a lot of work and make my body and mind scream out some days.

The beauty is, we can drag that heavy laundry to the lines of the Cross and hang them there, all willy-nilly and rumpled and unshook and even kind of dump them there unceremoniously.  Very unlike the image in my mind of the way I hang laundry.

But the thing is, the cross was a very unceremonious event.  It was ugly, lumpy, rumpled, and willy-nilly to all who looked on.  But to Christ and God in heaven, it was enough.  The simple act of dumping my laundry at the foot of the cross allows me to turn around and in time, find clean and fresh laundry again.  The cross did all the work.  Kind of like a dryer.  Wow.  Did you ever think Jesus would be compared to a dryer?

The point is, it wasn’t my work.  It wasn’t my will and it wasn’t my sacrifice.  But is was my dirt, my pain, my groaning life that was taken up on that cross and the Son (sun) dried and bleached away the ugliness.  I get the benefit of the clean fresh life and didn’t have to do the work (or if you are a control freak that could be worded: I didn’t get to do the work).

As a future pastor, I am inundated with reminders of caring for self right now.  As a mom, I am reminded regularly by those who know and care that a mom MUST take care of herself in order to care for her young.  I get that.  Some days we cannot get away and we must find the small things that add up to personal care.  For me it is laundry.  The simple, silent, act of hanging wet heavy cloth on a line to return and find it fresh and clean, wrapping my grateful arms about it as I  fold it in the warmth of the Son. 


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