John 3:8 - The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
Last week, a dear friend e-mailed me a list of some eco-friendly things one could do for Lent. As my husband, Danny, is a regional director for Energy Star, we already engage in many of the suggested activities: using LED or compact-florescent lights; composting; recycling paper, plastic, and cans; using cloth shopping bags and cloth, instead of paper, napkins; installing occupancy sensors; sealing air ducts; insulating the attic, and, my all-time favorite, drying clothes outside. The latter activity is always the one that evokes horrified gasps of disbelief from his audience when Danny gives presentations on energy efficiency. They are literally shocked at the notion of anyone hanging out clothes, especially in winter, when dryers are so handy and accessible.
Danny explains that dryers are basically motors and motors use energy; there is no such creature as an Energy Star dryer! We pay for the electricity our dryers use, but the sun and wind are free for the taking. When someone protests that their homeowner's association doesn't permit clotheslines, Danny urges them to go to the board and argue the facts: energy costs will continue to escalate, crunching families' precarious budgets even further; energy that is free is the sensible alternative.
While the practical advantages of hanging clothes outdoors are manifold, I find the aesthetic aspects even more appealing. Nothing beats snuggling in bed between sheets that have been dried outside; their soothing fragrance and softness reminds me of lying on cool, green grass in the early spring sunshine. When I open my wardrobe to dress in the morning, I am greeted by that same comforting scent. I even relish the rough texture of our towels; being dried on the line, they absorb moisture more readily and stay smelling fresh longer.
For those of you doubting the lure of the clothesline at this juncture, allow me to address some questions others have asked me in the past.
- Aren't your jeans too stiff? Yes, at first, but they soften up within ten minutes of wearing.
- Don't your clothes wrinkle? No, especially on a breezy day; it blows the wrinkles right out (wish it would do that for my face!).
- Is summer the best time to hang laundry outside? Not if you live below the Mason-Dixon line. You can dry clothes outside anytime unless it is a) raining, or b) below freezing.
- Aren't you self-conscious about drying, er, you know, your intimates outdoors for all to see? Not an issue for me as our backyard is secluded. You can always hang underwear, etc. indoors on a wooden rack.
- Isn't hanging up and taking down clothes from the line an extra chore? It is, if you choose to look at it that way, but if I threw my clothes in the dryer, I'd miss out on the mesmerizing show I call "Clothes with the Wind".
How do you see, hear and feel the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, in your life at this moment? Whether it is in a roaring wind or a whispered breath, know He is always there with you.