Monday, June 21, 2010

Laundry, Liturgy and Women's Work

In Laundry Liturgy and Women's work, Kathleen Norris reflects on the nature of the mundane tasks and the potential for sacramental inbreaking. Tonight as I did the dishes alone in our hot kitchen, something sparked my memories of working at Inspiration Hills. For three summers (1995, 1996, 2000) I worked as grounds crew, lifeguard, and sometimes reluctant counselor. I would spend glorious hours in the sun, evenings worshipping with new friends, late night games, and lots of laughing. In my recent years of growing interest in sacred spaces, I often ask people if they have places they consider sacred. Its fairly frequently that church camps become what so many people recognize as sacred space. Inspiration Hills is that for me as well. Both as a camper and staff, my story is not complete without this place. So tonight, as I did dishes in our hot kitchen, I remembered the hard and thankless work done by my friends at just one camp to make a summer, week, even meal a sacred possibility for thousands of campers. This work doesn't pay well. We would told that we would be exhausted but yet somehow feel refreshed at the end of the summer. And we were. My thought tonight is that in the midst of the summer heat...tensions can run high, frustrations mount, irritability sets in, songs are sung over and over and over. And inspite of our weaknesses, God moves, both staff and campers respond. Tonight I am reminded to pray for both campers and staff alike...for receptivity and endurance.