Strangely (or maybe not so strangely), I find spiritual focus in hanging laundry out to dry on my clothesline. I stand in the sunlight, hanging diapers and shirts and thinking about God. The sun is on my skin, and there’s sometimes a breeze in my hair. I have taken a basket of wet laundry outside after arguments with my kids or husband, and after I’m done stabbing the clothespins over the laundry, I’ve been able to breathe again. It’s the most prosaic thing, and yet, for me, the most transcendent.
Artist Makoto Fujimura thinks this is precisely what Jesus meant when he told us to consider the lilies. Feeling stressed? Go look at some flowers. Or the sunrise through the clouds. Just staring at a tree or some daisies might help us breathe again and recognize God’s work in the world. We all get caught up in thinking it’s our work alone in the world. We will fix everything that’s broken if we just worry and work hard enough. But we are not in control of it, we are involved.
This message is excerpted from “Paul’s church ladies” by Alice Connor in the November 2018 Gather magazine.
Copyright © 2023 Women of the ELCA. Inquiries for permission to reproduce should be directed to [email protected].