We’ve only had this dishwasher since late February, but it broke. It wasn’t a particularly easy fix for the company, but they did fix it. In the meantime, I’ve had to do dishes by hand. (Insert a gasp here.) I haven’t done dishes by hand, all the dishes by hand, in a long time. (Insert another gasp and “The horror of it!”) It took about a week for the part to come in and to schedule and appointment with the repairman. (I’m not being politically correct, a man was sent to repair my dishwasher.)
So, for a week, I stood in front of the sink and did dishes. I felt the heat of the water as I shoved my hands in it. I felt the slippery dishes as I washed them. Since I am trying to learn to embrace the silence, there was quiet. All devices, including the TV, were off. I could only hear the sounds from outside and the normal, inside sounds. I felt myself slip into a mode of deep thought. I realized how grateful I should be that I could feel the heat of the water and the steam from the dishes as I put them on the rack to air dry. I realized how grateful I should be for dishes. I realized how grateful I should be for the food that goes on the dishes, and, even though I don’t like to cook, that I should be grateful for the ability and the time to make a pleasing meal for my family, with or without their help.
Each day, as I stood in front of the sink doing dishes, I came closer to the realization that there is a sacred quality to the work I was doing. I was serving the food which God provided on the plates which God provided, and I was washing the dirty plates which were a sign that God had provided even more for us.
A sense of the spiritual crept into my activities in the kitchen. A sense of gratitude overwhelmed me. Each veggie that I chopped for the salad, each piece of meat that I cooked and seasoned, each action from removing the food from the refrigerator became sacred. God had provided all to us. I realized that compaining because I did all the work was negative and took away the spiritual aspect of this gift from God to serve my family. By serving my family, I was serving God who gifted me with everything I have and own, and, most importantly, my family!
God blessed me with a new dishwasher that broke so that I could learn valuable lessons from Him. It is a gift to serve. It is a gift to be served. Even when we feel unappreciated because we are overwhelmed, tired, or busy, there is joy and sacredness in service.
All we are has come from God because He loves us. He gives us free will, and we have the ability to say no to His gifts. In this service to our families, there is little that can be called extraordinary. When you think about it, very few people are called to the extraordinary. Most of us are “boots on the ground,” called to serve in simple ways. (The exception to that is raising our children. The ability to raise children is an extraordinary service to God.)
No, it’s not easy to coordinate all the activities so that we can gather as a family an eat, but it is a sacred duty to do so. There is a sacredness in gathering together to eat and pray. There is a sacredness to the ordinary gifts of living and working together. There is a sacredness in preparing the food and washing the dishes.
Our families are a gift from God that we need to cherish because the time flies past when the kids are home and gathering together with us. When the kids leave home, we are alone, together, and there is a blessing in that gift, too. We serve each other, and wait for the kids to come home with great joy!
I was annoyed that the dishwasher broke and that it took a while to repair, but when I look back, the richness and blessings of that time were sacred and blessed by God. Now, and this is a very radical idea for me, I’m considering NOT using the dishwasher as frequently as I normally do. (Where do these ideas come from?” Please insert a gasp!) Then, again, maybe I will, but I have come to recognize the blessings and the sacred in this time. God needed to teach me this lesson. I thank Him for that. Now, it’s time to experience His love in the kitchen. I need to prep the food for supper.
Thank You, Lord. Here I am. I come to do Your Will. Amen!