As the sound of tires leaving the driveway faded into the distance I turned to survey my kitchen. Mounds of dirty dishes and leftovers scattered everywhere left tell tale signs of a crazy weekend and a large pizza and movie night. With a deep sigh of contentment I turned to the sink and mumbled something about how I loved washing my dishes.
A loud gasp pulled me from my thoughts “You LOVE doing dishes? What’s wrong with you?!?” My 14-year-old sister who was spending the night with me looked at me in aghast, horror. How could someone possibly love doing dishes?
In an instance I flashed back 10 years to growing up on the farm as the oldest of the then 10 children. We didn’t have a dishwasher but at least we had running water and I didn’t have to pump it by hand. I’ve doing dishes since I was old enough to fight with my younger brother over which stool we were going to use to reach the sink to do the dishes.
Dishes were THE bane of my existence at 14. I hated that chore with everything in me. It was my turn to look at my sister in surprise. How much my perception has changed in 10 years!
My world was so small the simple task of a mound of dishes had the power to make or break my day and world then. My world got a lot bigger in the last few years. I’ve seen heartbreak and hardship, evil and pain. But I’ve also seen the Lord’s provision, faithfulness, mercy and love. Because of the chaos of life, the simple act of cleaning dishes is a small joy for me now. In a way – restoring order to the chaos of the kitchen brings security and pleasure.
What a change of perception. The same chore and the same mess – yet what a different feeling and way of seeing them. I couldn’t help but wonder, will the problems in my life today that drive me crazy and make or break the kind of day I’m having, still be there in another 10 years? Or will these perceived problems bring pleasure and peace?
Of late, I have been praying for a “heavenly perspective” in my life. I want to see life as the Lord sees it. I know I’ll live life differently when I do! Ephesians 3:17a says “And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…” What would it mean to grasp the love of Christ? What a perception change and action change that would be! The ‘grasp’ here is transliterated from the Greek word ‘katalambano’ meaning to obtain, attain, take hold of; seize, or overtake. What would it mean in my life, in your life, to obtain and attain the meaning of Christ’s love in our lives? To seize the love He offers? Not just in comprehending that love, but acting on it. To take hold of the opportunities to love, serve and minister to others that love would provide?
I’m currently helping as the assistant costumer for a large drama production of The Miracle Worker*, a story of the early life of Helen Keller – a girl blind and deaf from shortly after her birth. Through the persistent love of a teacher Helen learns to grasp how deep, long, high and wide the world is through sign language. Her perception changes, as language becomes her vision with which she can see the world.
I want the Lord to become my vision with which I see the world. How often do we all stumble around in our little worlds, trapped by the darkness of our problems because we are too stubborn to let Him be our vision and perspective?
Oh that we may grasp His purpose, vision perspective and meaning in our little worlds. I worry about finances, school, and direction for my life – while across the world people are shattered from an earthquake, facing death, lack of shelter, food, radiation poisoning and more… How small my problems are! There is a dying world out there and we are too wrapped up in us to see it. His perspective has the power to restore peace to chaos, meaning to discouragement, hope to despair, and dishes into a meeting place with Him.
Be thou my Vision oh Lord of my heart!
* The Miracle Worker – Performed at Family Life, March 10-19, 2011
** Photo Credits – Christine Britten