24th February: Analyse your washing

So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments. Exodus 19:14

It has always been said “Cleanliness is next to godliness” but maybe the question that you are asking yourself is  – what does a task like washing my clothes have to do with my faith?We have made an artificial separation between the ‘sacrad’ (what happens in church) and the ‘secular’ (what happens the rest of our lives.

You don’t have to go to sacred places to pray or wait for holy days for good things to happen. You can pray always, and everything that happens is potentially sacred if you allow it to be. Once we can accept that God is in all situations, and that God can and will use even bad situations for good, then everything becomes an occasion for good and an occasion for God. “This is the day Yahweh has made memorable, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24). (Richard Rohr)

The Celtic Christians understood this and here is a beautiful Celtic prayer for washing day

I make this bed
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
In the name of the night we were conceived,
In the name of the night we were born,
In the name of the day we were baptized,
In the name of each night, each day,
Each angel that is in the heavens.

So washing day is part of our live with God.

Washing involves use of water, use of electricity and use of detergents.

  • Water: try to only run your machine when it is full. Have you considered a “grey water” system where the water from your washing machine (and showers) can be piped out into the garden.?
  • Detergent: what detergent are you using? Can you buy a more environmentally friendly one?
  • Electricity: Doing all your laundry in cold water saves energy. In fact, almost 90% of the energy consumed by a washing machine goes to heating the water,. Newer detergents, plus the washing machine’s agitating action, are enough to remove stains sans heat. And remember to hang your washing up outside, instead of using a tumble drier. In winter you might consider a SPINDLE. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uXr0Giw-N8) which spins the water out of the clothes reducing drying time radically in winter!

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