Musings on Kleenex and ‘Kin-dom’
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.