As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Monday, August 5, 2013

Laundry Therapy

Last week was an emotionally overwhelming one for me.  In the wake of that, I find myself in the stillness of this Monday feeling antsy and unsettled.  Every quiet moment since the weekend brings with it a feelings of unrest.  And yet, life around me continues.

And so it is that this afternoon, despite my feelings of restlessness, I had (as I always do) work in front of me.  Laundry.  Which, in a family of eight can be pretty overwhelming at the best of times.  Today however, it was strangely healing.  My boys played outside, my oldest girl helped and my baby crawled at my feet.  And for the first time in the past few days, I felt peaceful.  

It reminded me of a dear friend and mother of seven, who used to talk about using laundry as a prayer time.  She would talk about how as mothers, it's hard to carve out dedicated prayer time, but that we can find the Lord in the middle of our everyday tasks.  She said she would pray while she was doing the laundry, trying to focus on whoever's article of clothing happened to be in her hand.  It continues to be such a beautiful witness to me.

There is a Steve Bell song, In Billy's Wake, that also talks about the simple task of laundry. It was inspired by a woman who, like my friend, always made laundry her prayer.  In the midst of a great family tragedy, the suicide of a dear cousin, this woman did the only thing she knew how to do - she set about the work that was in front of her, and offered that as her prayer.  

We're not alone
Laundry awash in the midmorning sun
You can see angels dance as they try trousers on
There is good work to do

There is always good work to do.  Regardless of our problems, or how we're feeling, whether we can make sense of it or whether we can't is irrelevant to our present moment - the work before us.  And oh, how good it is when a seemingly meaningless (itself often overwhelming) task like laundry is the gateway to a few quiet, peaceful moments.  Exactly what you need to get out of yourself, away from the negativity that can build up, sometimes that we nurture within ourselves, pulling us further and further away from reality.  This is real life.  How sweet it is.

There is good work to do.

No comments :

Post a Comment