Do you iron?
I don't. I mean, I can, but I haven't in a long, long time.
My husband will vouch for that. He stopped buying shirts with wrinkle-inclined collars and button panels when it became clear he'd have to iron them himself.
"I buried a lot of my ironing in the back yard." ~ Phyllis Diller
But yesterday I had no choice. We go through a lot of white napkins at the winery bistro where I work and they come out of the dryer a mess of wrinkles.
I knew I couldn't just bury them, so there I stood beside the board, elbow up high, working that hot iron back and forth across a white cloth napkin. I pressed and pushed and pressed and pushed, but no luck. The wrinkles would not go away.
Then a faint memory stirred. Ah, yes. Steam. I found the magic button, and poof! the wrinkles vanished with just a fraction of my previous effort.
I fell into a rhythm, back and forth, back and forth, thumb on steam button. One napkin after another wrinkle-free, folded, and ready for tables. My mind wandered. I had forgotten about that part of ironing, too, how it's so conducive to thinking about any- and everything.
And this is what my thoughts brought back to me from their journey abroad...
The napkins are like us, starting out all neat and tidy and folded just right. Then we head out into the world. We can't help but be affected, usually ending up used and dirty. We make changes, clean ourselves up, only to realize that, if we take a hard look at ourselves, our hearts are still all wrinkled. We can work and work and work, but our own effort just isn't enough. We need help.
We need steam, and I believe it comes in the form of the Holy Spirit. We just have to ask for help and it swoops in and smooths things out. The trick is we have to acknowledge the wrinkles and want to get rid of them.
Today is the first day of Lent and that's what it's all about, taking a good honest look at your heart, your soul, your life, seeing the wrinkles, recognizing we need help with the toughest ones, and depending on the Holy Spirit to help us.
Yes, that's how my brain works sometimes. Do you see now why my kids hate my analogies? I'm way out of practice now. You should have heard the ones I came up with when they were teenagers.
But for those of you who read all the way through this, I have something to lighten things up: "How to Survive Lent 2013 or What We Gave Up". I may be Catholic, but I still have a sense of humor.
So...are you giving anything up for Lent? If not, here's my back-up question...do you iron?
"My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint."
~ Erma Bombeck
We don't iron these colored ones. I hope you can't tell. I don't want to have to start, even if ironing is conducive to random analogical thinking.
(P.S. Update on the comment problem: I apologize if you've tried to leave a comment, but didn't see it. Typepad has a new, obviously over-agressive, spam blocker system, and all comments are being dumped into my spam folder. I even discovered some of my recent replies in there! I've notified Typepad and hope it's resolved soon. In the meantime, thank you for commenting. They're there - you just don't see them! And since I'm not getting email notifications, you're not receiving my replies.)