Mt. Pleasant Lutheran Church

Sort and Wash

February 29th, 2012 by Holly Hess

Sort and Wash

By Holly Hess


I try to live my life aware of the lessons in each day, but I have to admit, this week they’ve been hard to see.  It’s been an ugly week at our house.  All six of us have been hit by a nasty flu bug.

This morning, as I was washing the twelve hundredth load of laundry for the week, I realized I must be feeling better.  Instead of dragging myself to the laundry room, I found myself thinking how good it felt to be doing the wash.  With renewed energy, I started sorting and washing everything in sight, even the things I washed yesterday.   You see, I’ve walked through a very smelly valley, and now I want everything to be mountain fresh.  In the stripping, sorting and washing of my household things I realized a good deep cleaning was exactly what I needed.

And just like that, I found the lesson.

Stripping, sorting and washing is good spiritual practice.  It’s easy to get covered in an emotional film that creates a barrier to the kind of life we really want to live. Unfortunately , it’s not always as easy to wash away as the flu virus.

What do you need to sort through?  Is your life filled with too many things?  Are you making a living but not living your life?  Do you have unfinished business with someone that needs to be addressed?  Are you taking good care of your physical and mental health?  Are you in open, honest conversation with God through prayer?  Have you been avoiding church?  Do you have anxieties that need to be released?

How would stripping away these burdens change you physically?  Emotionally?  Spiritually?

During Lent, Jesus models how to walk through pain, fear and uncertainty. We see him stripped of all earthly protections.  We relate to his vulnerability and we draw our strength from his.  Jesus understands that we wear a heavy coat.  He shares our humanly burdens.  He understands that while we don’t want to separate ourselves from God, we do, and we don’t always know how to wipe the slate clean.

The good news is, we don’t have to.  Jesus has already washed it all away.

Lent is a good time to make a spiritual assessment.  To lay our dirty laundry before God, to sort through the things that are piling up around us, to wash away those things that are creating a barrier to a cleaner, healthier relationship with God and others.

It’s time to move the process of sorting and washing beyond the laundry room.  It’s Lent.  Let’s strip away what’s built up and embrace the fresh start that is each of ours through Jesus.


Psalm 51:1o

Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.


Gracious God,

Wash away my worldly concerns and fill that space with your love and understanding.  Amen.



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