linens


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking with a woman who cares for our cathedral linens. We have 10, and as many as15, eucharistic liturgies each week.  She irons the linens we need.  I have been using those linens many times a week, for two years, and they just kept appearing in drawers.  It had never really occurred to me to ask who ironed them all. And what went into the process.

She told me softly, gently; that as she irons and folds each linen for use in eucharistic liturgies, she prays for a different group of people in the cathedral. I imagined the iron hitting the linen, and I closed my eyes briefly to recall the smell of hot linen and steam and spray-starch.  I can still remember that smell.  There will come a time when I cannot, but for now, I still do.

Iron.  Fold.  “And Lord, please help the…”

Iron.  Fold.  “Lord, about …”

Iron.  Fold. Iron.  “Father, we have this group that…”

The experience, imagining the folding, the ironing and the praying; reminded me that God is dither omniscient or impotent.  And I believe God is omniscient.  And yet, last night I asked a friend what they wanted me to make them for dinner tonight and I got exactly the answer I expected.  The foreknowledge made me smile.  It implied intimacy, friendship, eve desire.

God, who knows all things, still likes being asked.  And we, who want all things, still like to ask.  And it all reminded me to remember to ask – to talk to God – to be in conversation.  Ironing, cooking, waiting at a stop light, waiting for a friend in a park – chatting with the creator of all things.  What a life we live – where that conversation is possible, is welcome, is even longed for!

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