Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Giving Up My Clothes Dryer for Lent

Homemade yo-yo clothespin apron hanging on my line, Fall 2011
       Here's my Lenten confession: I have not hung clothes on my clothesline since October, maybe even September. I have been working on a big project and battling a sinus infection since before Thanksgiving and I decided to give myself the gift of using the dryer. I justified it by reasoning that it was winter anyway. At first, doing the laundry never seemed easier, but I have to say that after five months it is just as much a chore as it ever was. So why would I want to make my life harder by hanging clothes out on the clothesline?

       I am not a big believer in giving things up for Lent. I don't think it's good theology. It is the height of hubris to think that anything we give up can compare with the sacrifice Christ made. And I don't think God wants us to suffer or deny ourselves, just to get rid of the things that separate us from closeness with him. Here's the thing: Hanging clothes out on the clothesline makes me feel good, it makes me feel close to nature, God's creation. It is, in fact, a spiritual thing for me. If Lent is about getting rid of the junk in our lives, then reconnecting with God while hanging my clothes out seems like a pretty good thing to do. I like to think of it as taking on (or taking back) a good habit, but if you want to call it giving up my dryer for Lent, fine. But I don't plan to start using my dryer on a daily basis once Lent is over.