Borrowed Inspiration

I was struck by a quote by Beth of Red and Honey, about meeting God in daily tasks. I was really struck by the connection author Kathleen Norris draws between cleaning and liturgy:

like liturgy, the work of cleaning draws much of its meaning and value from repetition, from the fact that it is never completed, but only set aside until the next day. Both liturgy and what is euphemistically termed “domestic” work also have an intense relation with the present moment, a kind of faith in the present that fosters hope and makes life seem possible in the day-to-day.

What Beth put in bold is exactly what drives me nuts about cleaning, why it is so discouraging to stare down a kitchen full of dirty dishes, because I know cleaning them will just make it faster to dirty them again. Some days are much better than others, but on my worst days, everything feels futile – making the bed, sweeping the floor, picking up clothes, clearing off the dining room table.

But I love liturgy. I love that it waits to be repeated each (day/week/year), and although it is not part of my spiritual life right now, it soothes me when we meet. Liturgy does not represent feel-good spirituality to me, but it is sturdy and meaningful.

Could I ever find the same comfort in cleaning?

It’s ridiculous to hope so, but that quotation above has given me a ridiculous glimmer of hope that just maybe I might.

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