a sink full of dishes often means community--a weekend spent with family or a morning cooking brunch with friends. it represents time spent preparing food, hands used making and eating, the nourishment of bodies and spirits.
washing dishes provides an opportunity for centering--focused time spent unplugged, away from the constant calling of facebook, instagram, twitter, email, blogs (yikes, that's a long list). when i'm cleaning dishes i have to be present in order for it to get done. it's nothing but me, warm water, and the dishes. it seems silly but there aren't many moments in the day where i'm not trying to get a few things done at the same time, or where my attention is (poorly) directed in a few places. over the years, i've noticed how much harder it's become for me to do one thing for an extended period of time. for example, i can't read more than a few pages of a book without reaching for my ipod to check some social media account. doing this chore reminds me the importance of focusing on the present moment.
cleaning the dishes is a daily act. each evening (ok, most evenings) i take things that are dirty, messy, used, and scrub them back to their original state. how true is that of us each and every day? sometimes i feel like i just go through the day acquiring a mess - a poor attitude here, a word spoken too quickly there, a moment spent relying too much on emotion. and yet, He offers me the opportunity each and every day to be made like new. how necessary and good it is to go to the Father and let Him pour His forgiveness and mercy over me. washing dishes reminds me of His grace, no matter how messy i may be.