Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Washing Dishes

A few weeks ago, my friend was regaling me with stories from a party she attended.  It was one of those in-home product sort of parties.  The kind that are almost more about the fellowship than about the shopping (almost).  Like most parties of this sort, it included a wacky game at the beginning to break the ice. Each participant had to admit to their least favorite household chore, and give the reason why she doesn't like doing it.  The answers got twisted around in a hilarious way, but I'll leave that part out to protect the innocent.

My least favorite chore is washing dishes, because after I'm done eating...I just want to be done.  I want to sit and just enjoy my food coma.  The chore of washing dishes just gets in the way. 

Saturday, I had the privilege of cooking for a few friends.  We had a wonderful lunch (complete with dessert).  We had appetizers and snacks too.  We laughed and played games all afternoon.  It was a fantastic time.

And the next day:  I had a pile of dishes.  Just sitting there.  Taunting me. 

As I was sudsing up my sponge and letting the water get hot, I recalled that silly game from my friend's story.  And I thought to myself, "Instead of despising this chore, how can I invite God into this moment?"

After all, dirty dishes are reflective of used dishes.  It made me think about how when I allow myself to be used for something good, I may get dirty in the process.  But that dirt is nothing to be ashamed of.  In fact, perhaps it should be looked upon with a little bit of joy.  Plus, it's so refreshing to go through the proverbial sponge-bath on the other side! 

I also thought about how its easier to clean dishes when they're fresh.  Once everything gets crusty and hard, it takes a lot more scrubbing to get things clean.  And life is like that too.  If we let things sit and coagulate or crust, it takes a lot more elbow grease to break the mess up.  But with a little soap, a little soaking, and a little determination...that piece can be shiny and clean again.

As I let my thoughts continue to drift that way, I found that my taunting task had become a teaching moment.  And I wasn't annoyed.  In fact, as I placed the last dish on the counter to dry I was pretty refreshed.  Fancy that!  

Perhaps I should extend that invitation more often...

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