Monday, April 27, 2009

Small Things

During the last two weeks my life has been full of small things. I have been sweeping and vacuuming, cooking and wiping countertops, taking my mother-in-law to the bank, making oatmeal, and being present to people: my husband, his family, others in my congregation. It seems that I have not had so much time to juggle all of the many responsibilities of my work; I haven't had so much time to ponder the big things, the important things -- the flourishing of our community life, urging and organizing people to do justice.

In the past, women, for the most part, were not allowed to do the "big" things, the "important" things -- we were relegated to private life: wiping countertops, wiping faces, cooking and cleaning and being present to people. We were relegated to working in private spaces and told that they were Not Important.

In the meantime, men were, for the most part, out in the public arena, changing the world: sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse. They were making their voices heard.

I want to change the world. In the world now, women, and not just men can do that.

But I also want to live in a world where wiping countertops, wiping faces, and being present to people is acknowledged as important, whether it's called "women's work" or "human work." These everyday activities need to be done, and they are holy too.

9 comments:

Rev SS said...

Yes, the "little things" are really the biggest things IMHO.

mompriest said...

Yes....I so agree!

Auntie Knickers said...

Amen!

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

When the little things aren't done, the big things fall apart. And when some people only do the big things, the little things don't get appreciated. I've always felt that the people who clean our hospitals and schools, churches and businesses, should get a fair wage, reflecting how important these jobs are, the jobs that aren't noticed except when they are poorly done.

Maybe I'll write on this on my blog, how it applys to the church.

Songbird said...

Such truth here.

Barbara B. said...

Yes, true! (And this reminds me of Kathleen Norris' little paperback called The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and "Women's Work" -- you would probably like that.)

Jennifer said...

...not to mention My Monastery is a Minivan by Denise Roy.
I loved this post of yours....

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Sometimes I find great peace in spending an afternoon cooking something or puttering in my kitchen, and I think "I've missed this and I didn't even know it."

Juniper said...

LOVE this. And the scarf looks great, too. Congratulations on finishing a complicated pattern!

(my word verf is persocon - cool!)