I actually like doing the dishes. Sometimes.
In a flat full of nine people, there is an abundance of dishes and a shortage of people who want to wash them. There are nights like tonight, when everyone is making dinner at the same time and in a rush and just tossing their dishes in the sink to deal with later. Then in the morning there’s an overwhelming stack in the sink, pots and pans and plates and forks piled so high there’s not really room to wash anything. That sink of dishes seems like a chore some days, something you just need to do and deal with and be done with. But some days, I don’t mind.
And so tonight, when everyone is gone and the house is quiet, the whole residence is quiet, and I’m enjoying the peace, the stillness and calm that are so rare around here, and I see the dishes sitting in the sink, I don’t mind.
I turn on the water and pick up the sponge, find the rhythm of soap and scrub and rinse.
I’ve been quiet in this space lately. I haven’t felt like I’ve had a lot to say, not sure if my words are worth listening to. Wondering if I’m just one more voice, just another girl with a blog insistent on adding the clacking of her keys to the noise.
We don’t need more noise.
And I’ve felt lost, in this big wide blogosphere. Not really sure where I fit in. There’s all those blogs, all those bloggers, with the perfect hair and the quirky smile, with the slightly hipster style and the twitter followers. The bloggers with words of wisdom and pearls of truth, the bloggers with book deals and camera skills and cute shoes. There’s words like marketing and branding that make me want to run for cover because I ain’t a brand and how the heck do I market myself when I don’t even know who the heck I am yet?
And I’m not sure where I fit in. Some days there’s a thought rattling around in my brain – you could be a writer – tantalizing and tempting with visions of being a capital-b-Blogger, brand and everything, being someone who does this as a thing. a real thing. and even beyond that, you could be a real writer. an author. but let’s not even talk about that, because up until a year and a month ago I didn’t even know I liked this whole writing and sharing and words thing and goodness gracious, what the heck could I ever even write a book about?
but it’s the thought – the possibility – the just maybe – that sits there. just out of reach. because I remind myself that I am just another girl with a blog. another girl with words. a girl who hasn’t felt like she’s had much to say the past few months.
There’s something so calming about washing dishes. Something in the repetition, something in the simplicity and the beauty. Something in the labor, the working with your hands. The sink empties and the clean dishes drip beads of water into pools on the counter and my mind clears.
It’s a never-ending task, admittedly. Your dishes will never be clean long. They’ll just keep on getting dirty, and they’ll just keep needing to be washed.
isn’t that how it always is?
and maybe it’s sacrilegious, but just then I can see my soul as a plate in my Father’s hands. don’t bother, I want to say as He scrubs it sparking white, it’s just going to get dirty again.
He’s been quiet lately.
Maybe He hasn’t, not really, maybe it’s just easier to say that He has been quiet than to point the finger at myself and say maybe I haven’t been listening.
Maybe it’s both. I’m not really sure. All I know is that He’s felt gone lately.
And I know He’s not gone, not really, because He promised. He promised to never leave, never forsake me nor abandon me, and I believe that. I trust that.
He’s not gone. But He’s just not here right now.
And I’ve found myself without words. Not knowing what to pray, only knowing that I need to. That I need Him right now. Because I’m trying to figure out who I am and what I want and where I’m going and Lord, a little guidance would be good but it’s all quiet on the heavenly front.
And so I am directionless. and planless. and wordless. I don’t know what to say to Him, and I don’t know what to say to you.
I stare down at the plate in my hand. I scrub, rinse, place with the others to dry.
I’m just going to get it dirty again.
He’s still quiet. I still don’t know what to say.
But tonight, doing the dishes feels like praying. And tonight, that’s enough.