On a walking pilgrimage, we washed our clothes by hand
I hurried through the process, but I came to understand
I was cleaning all my clothes so that they didn’t smell,
But I should have cleaned for purity as well.

I wanted to get out the dirt and the grime
Scrubbing away as quickly as I could,
But there was a woman there who would take her time
To clean her clothes the way I knew I should.

Undoubtedly I needed to get the stains out.
That wasn’t questioned in my mind,
The question came when I began to doubt
The cleanliness of clean parts I would find.

The woman cleaned her clothes like I should clean my soul
Letting purity and cleanliness replace
An apathetic nature that spins out of control
choosing “good enough,” instead of gifted grace.

I based this poem on a story Fr. Dave Pivonka told during an episode of Franciscan University Presents.  He writes more on his pilgrimage experience in his book, Hiking the Camino.

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