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Musings on Kleenex and ‘Kin-dom’

Our Marketing and Communications director, Diane Weidenbenner, asked me to write a blog. The topic could be anything I wanted.

Given the freedom to write about anything, I could think of nothing until I was ironing my clothes the other morning.  I was really annoyed because I was ironing and picking a million miniscule pieces of Kleenex off my slacks. Obviously I had failed to empty my pockets before throwing everything in the machine. So aggravating! It’s even more aggravating because I’ve made this same mistake a million times.

Then a truly random thought crossed my mind: “The kingdom of God is like a Kleenex that’s gone through the laundry.”

The thought made me smile so I decided to play around with it.

It’s been suggested that a possible way to think about the meaning of the “kingdom of God” is to eliminate the letter g from the word kingdom. The word becomes kin-dom. This modified word indicates that being kin with one another is where we’ll find God.  Looking for God? Look at one another and the relationships among us as clues – is the kin-dom of God happening here? Look to the ordinary for hints of how the goodness of God works in our lives and in the lives of all who strive for a world of love, mercy and justice.

In case we’re tempted to pretend that how we’re to live in the kin-dom of God hasn’t been made clear, tempted to think the concept of the kin-dom of God is too abstract, too theoretical, Jesus uses everyday images to help us define what the kin-dom of God is like. Jesus presents the images and then leaves it up to us to make the connections between the story and our lives.

According to Jesus, the kin-dom of God is like:

  • a sower who went out to scatter seeds;
  • a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds;
  • the one who found a hidden treasure;
  • the yeast a woman mixed in with a large amount of flour;
  • a merchant looking for fine pearls;
  • a net let down into the lake that caught all kinds of fish;
  • the owner of a house who brings out new treasures as well as old.

As many times as most of us have heard these parables, maybe we can profit by thinking about, praying with them again. What do the images say to me now about the kin-dom of God, both in my current personal circumstances and in the context of what’s happening in our world? What’s the connection between the image and what it teaches?

So back to my image of God.  The kin-dom of God is like a Kleenex that’s been washed, rinsed, spun dry in a washing machine.

What does this image suggest about kinship, bringing love, mercy and justice to our world?

I have no idea. I just offer the image. It’s up to you to make the connections – if you want.

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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  1. Avatar Cynthia MacWhorter on August 3, 2018 at 8:56 am

    I can relate to this so well! An appropriate image for us because it reflects both a common experience and the randomness of how everything becomes scattered yet connected. Thanks, Sister Denise! As usual, something simple, slightly amusing yet profound!

  2. Avatar Mary Carroll Blocher on August 3, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Thanks, Denise, for the kin- dom thoughts. We say we are all connected yet our differences sometimes push those unifying thoughts away. The political scene in our country often tears at our kinship! So working for love, mercy and justice is even more important than ever.

  3. Avatar Marsha Speth on August 3, 2018 at 9:28 am

    The kin-don of God is like Kleenex in the laundry….
    It always is a surprise
    It often unsettles our thinking that we have everything under control
    It only takes one to multiply into innumerable parts.
    It keeps me humble and invites me to forgiveness especially of myself.

    Thank you, Denise!

  4. Avatar Donna Butler on August 3, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Oh how I can identify as recently my dark blue “capris” came out of the wash with thousands of little bits of white. As I took masking tape out of the drawer complaining to Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp about my plight, she offered her roll-on wide tape. It would have taken me a week to get all those little bits off except for Jeanne’s having mercy on me by lending her roll on tape! There’s the connection for me with the Kindom of God!

    Thanks, Denise for jogging my mind and for your great sense of humor!

  5. Avatar Paula Modaff, S.P. on August 3, 2018 at 10:13 am

    You have done it again, dear Denise. Never again will I lament my scattered pieces of kleenex all over my clothing. I can smile and call to mind and heart the kindom of God. with grateful love, Paula

    • Avatar Kathryn Johnson on August 9, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      Many times I think about you and how you are. I hope you are well.
      Peace and blessings to you.

  6. Avatar Kathryn Johnson on August 9, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    Your message brought thoughts to mind. If the tissue represents life and how we spend our time on this earth is extremely important and fragile. Life can get hectic when I stretch myself in many directions. Life gets crazy and at times we fall apart, like the tissue does after going through the washing machine cycles. It is impossible to put the tissue back together, but with the kindom of God I have trust. Trust and faith in God that he has my back and will provide me with solutions for the shredded tissue of life. The kindom of God offers me hope of a new beginning. He takes my worries as his own. He helps me to start again. After all there is a new box of tissue in the bathroom and laundry day is just around the corner. Thank God for giving us “do-overs”
    Thank you, Sr. Denise. Peace and Blessings.

  7. Avatar susan holley on August 9, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    If you want to be surrounded by the people you love, better love the people surrounding you.

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