There they were night after night; those dishes, waiting for me. That post-dinner mess, with post-lunch mess included, postponed from earlier in the day. Our kitchen lacked the modern convenience of a dishwasher, so it was a chore.
The Lord would be waiting for me there too. He always knew where to find me. But I typically didn’t recognize this.
When my children were small, my only quiet moment seemed to ironically come while washing dishes. Food eaten, vegetables negotiated, and dessert obliged meant that soon after, the cleanup process would repel everyone far from the kitchen.
Our house was busy with four young children. We struggled through a very difficult marriage. Quiet was what I really needed. Good Christians had a quiet time every day, and took time to pray uninterrupted.
I mostly focused on was all that wasn’t. I longed to be better; a better wife, a better mom, a better believer. Failure was all I saw. I had a daily portion of despair with a side of guilt and anxiety.
One night as I worked through the dirty dishes and pans, a Voice spoke to me over my shoulder. It wasn’t audible, but it was unmistakable and startling. It was like a husband standing behind his wife, resting gentle hands on her shoulders, and whispering in her ear. He was the One that I had been seeking, even though I didn’t have a quiet time that morning, like all those other good Christians.
What He spoke to my heart specifically contradicted what I had been told by someone close to me that day. It was something that gave me strength. It was surprising, personal, and healing.
The Holy Spirit is waiting near our messes, literal or figurative. He knows that we need His grace to navigate them. We need His presence. He is not repelled by our situation, He is our way out of it.
In the commotion of raising a family or earning a living these days, everything works against discovering the hidden moments when God is speaking to us, waiting to connect. This is what we must fight. We must guard the desire to discover.
We must keep our spirits open even if our calendars are full.
There have been other such kitchen moments, not when I was expecting but exactly when I needed them. Those mundane things like dishes and driving are times to be quiet and listen.
You never know who might join you.
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