Spring cleaning – 4 March 2019

Time for a big clean. Three women are cleaning a room from top to bottom. Pictures hanging from rails are being taken down to be dusted. Cleaning cloths hang from the linen basket. Everything has been moved from the floor, including the bed linen, so that the vacuum (plugged into the light!) can clean under the bed. There is a lot of white linen in this picture. Although the picture is one of busyness and turmoil, the linen indicates the cleansing that is taking place. In the bottom right of the picture is a jug and bowl, not for the cleansing of the room but for personal use. It is time for everything and everyone to be made clean.

Lent begins this week, so this picture can serve as a reminder of the disrupting effect of the process of cleansing.

The picture (tempura on board,1946) is by Ruth Marjorie Hopwell (b1923) a painter and teacher.


But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap

Malachi 3:2

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.

Revelation 12:14

Though your sins be like scarlet, they may be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isaiah 1:18

No matter how often linen is washed in water with ashes and soap, no matter how often it is washed and rewashed, it cannot receive whiteness until it is spread under the light of the sun. Thus, our soul cannot become white, no matter how often we cleanse it by our own effort and labour even with the help of all legal means of the law until we, at last, bring it beneath the feet of God, spread out and opened wide so that the light of God illumines it and whitens it.

St Nilolai Velimirovich

First rays of spring sun
Expose dark hidden corners
Their unwanted dusty cobwebs
Opening wide the windows
Their curtains billow and dance
It’s a time for awakenings and stirrings
Of the internal genre Inspiring spring cleaning
Of a spiritual nature
Remembering laughter of children
As they chase butterflies
Remembering the meaning of the word play
As stress gives way to smiles
Remembering why life is worth living

Line Gauthier, Spring Sun