Over two weeks ago I was embraced by a many-tentacled and anonymous bug! This “bug” has put me through the wringer! That means I’ve had a severely stressful experience that has left me the worse for wear. It means I’ve been sick and being sick means passing through a difficult and unpleasant ordeal, which makes one feel like being “put through the wringer.”
Do you know what a “wringer” (or mangle) is? It was a device attached to washing machines (before the tumble dry era). A wringer was a pair of rollers through which wet laundry was passed under pressure to “wring” the laundry of water (to press the water from it).
To understand my experience you need to take on the perspective of a piece of laundry being “put through the wringer.” You have to imagine being subjected to intense pressure—starting at one end and proceeding very slowly to the other end—a very traumatic, flattening kind of experience. The “wringing” part is not the end of the story for the unfortunate laundry item, nor was it the end of the story for me. After the wringing the laundry still has to experience being “hung out to dry,” which is precisely where I am this morning!
This “bug” has put me through the wringer, deliberately and systematically subjecting me to distressingly intense pressure over (so it feels) a long period of time (two weeks) with the express purpose of dehydrating me and leaving me “hung out to dry.”
But “wrung out” and “hung out” can only deter us momentarily. Easter comes with its resurrection promise, encouraging us to rise up, move on, and live.