Thursday, February 21, 2008

Laundry 101

This month is black history month.  At the school I sub at they have a quote a day.  I liked today's quote:
"Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color."
I agree with the spirit of the quote.  I disagree that laundry needs to be separated by color. 
Future college students everywhere take note of this simple advice.  You just need to know two things:
1) Cold water wash
2) Cold water rinse
If you do that than you can mix the colors up like a bag of Skittles.  I have heard this does not get the clothes as clean.  However, realize the important word as.  This means the clothes still get clean, they just don't meet some uber-Tide-commercial-whiteness-standard of cleanliness. 
These thoughts logically lead me to the church.  :)
The popular quote is that Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of the week.  In talking with fellow seminarians and friends many of them admit they find it hard to imagine a segregated church.  One confessed to me that she thought it was better to just worship in our isolated communities because it was so much easier and created less problems. 
I couldn't disagree more.  Many Churches will worship in all white (or Asian, black, Latino, etc..) congregations because of their geography.  My home church in Michigan couldn't be racially segregated because we didn't have racial diversity in the community.  However, where there is the opportunity to worship in diversity we must seek it.
Worshiping in diversity brings us to an awareness of the creative beauty God bestows on all people.  Diversity helps us celebrate our uniqueness and gives us opportunity to learn from each other. 
Let me use the laundry metaphor some more.  I don't mean to use the words light and dark in a derogatory or offensive manner.) 
If "light" clothes and "dark" clothes are going to worship together we will have to start with some "cold water" rinsing and washing. We will have to learn how to worship together with gentleness (the gentle cycle).  But cold water and the gentle cycle can only get us so far.  This cycle has it's time and place.  But we want to use hot water, we want to use water that will get us to that uber-Tide-commercial-whiteness-standard of cleanliness.  That level that will get us closer to God.  Why settle to be "as clean" when we can be fully clean?
When we use hot water to wash and rinse the colors will start to bleed and mix and appear ruined.  But what might appear to be a loss of identity on the outside is really a deepening of our individual mosaic.  We might loose a little bit of our identity but in that process we gain the identity of the other.  What looks like a mess to the world is the most fashionable thing to God. 

No comments: