Saturday, July 12, 2014

Theology from a Six Year Old Doing Laundry

“I hate doing laundry," says my 6 year old as glares at the two loads of fresh laundry in front of us.

“Me, too,” I confess. “But I’ll tell you a trick I do to make it worth my while.  I imagine all these clothes to be souls on earth who need conversion or souls in purgatory who need my sacrifice to make it to heaven.  For instance, this men’s dress shirt and cardigan, right here.  I think of a mommy and a daddy on earth who have problems and are thinking about divorce so I offer it up for their marriage so that receive graces to stay married.”

“I would be sad if you and daddy got a divorce.”  She sorts and picks up a stack of pajamas.  “I’ll pretend these are their three children and I’ll pray that they make it to heaven.”

I ruffle her hair.  “That’s a good one.”

She picks up a bundle of socks.   “These can be a classroom of kids.  Maybe they go to public school and they’re not learning about God from their teacher so I’ll pray that they will know God.”

I’m getting choked up here.  Remember, I have raging pregnancy hormones.  “You do that.”

"Where did you get this idea, Mama?"

"St. Therese of Liseux,"  I say.  "She offered up every little sacrifice to Jesus for souls*." 

“Mama, what are the steps to becoming a saint again?”

“First you become a servant of God, a venerable, a blessed and then a saint.”

She runs her soft hand through a yellow cotton dress.  “I’ll hang this up and then someone somewhere can become a blessed when I do that.”

I smile. “I never thought of that.”

She’s smiling now, too.  There is hardly a trace of scowl from five minutes ago.  “I’ll be right back.”  In her arms are two stacks of her sister’s clothes.

I’m folding up the rest of the basket contents when she returns.

“Mama, when I stuffed the shirts in the closet, I told them, ‘Have fun in heaven!’”

I laugh.  “That’s funny.  Do you know that the souls from purgatory that you help get to heaven will pray for you. Like right now, I’m sure those five shirts are praying for your toothache to go away.”

“I don’t want them to take my teeth though. Just help me carry the pain a little.”

My mouth is hanging open.  Who was teaching whom here?

She reaches for a stack of bottoms.  “I’m imagining that the closets are heaven and the more clothes I pile in there, the more souls are becoming saints. When we’re done, I’m going to organize the Tupperware drawer to get more souls in.”

She does. And oh my, doing chores with my six year old just became my favorite thing to do. Does that mean it's no longer sacrifice? ;)

*The long Theology version of redemptive suffering is in my last CS post if you are curious.


Sue Elvis said...

Oh my! What a wonderful post. I won't mind doing the laundry at all tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your conversation. You have a beautiful daughter, Anabelle.

Anabelle Hazard said...

Thanks Sue. Children and laundry are such blessings.

Nancy Shuman said...

This made my day. No, it made my whole month! How absolutely WONDERFUL.

Anabelle Hazard said...

Thanks Nancy. I'm glad that'll tide you over for the next month because nausea is making me unproductive in writing.