Grace in the face of dirty dishes…

Dirty dishes have an uncanny way of pointing me to grace.  I’m a little bi-polar when it comes to dirty dishes.  Sometimes they drive me nuts and I have to wash them immediately.  Sometimes I could care less if they pile up for three days.  Once I’ve washed them I feel good and accomplished and the clean, empty sink makes me happy.  As such I am a little bi-polar when it comes to grace.  Sometimes I’m basking in the glorious light of it all, and sometimes I could care less about it.  But when I’ve tastes of it, when I’ve poured myself out in response to it, I am so very satisfied.

Not to mention the fact that dishes have to be washed over and over and over and over again.  Seriously, how does that happen?  Why can’t they just stay in the cabinets?  Regardless, I need grace over and over and over and over again.  My flesh stains me every day, and the longer I wait for the cleansing power of the Spirit through the Word, the more crusty I become and the harder it grows to be scrubbed clean again.  I had a roommate some time ago who had dirty dishes in our kitchen that not only had crust and mold on them, but had layers of spiders webs and dust and even a mound of ants living in them.  That was some serious neglect.  And I’ve done the same to my soul from time to time – neglected it so long that it was hardly noticeable and most definitely not useful.

Lately I’ve been attempting to memorize the book of John.  In four months I’ve managed to memorize through roughly 6:15.  Yet I find that if I take a week off, when I return to it the next week, chapters five and six don’t flow as easily from my lips.  I’ve repeated chapter one so many times now that I would have to go for a very long time without quoting it in order to forget it.  But the most fresh verses – the newest embraces of grace – are the least stable in my memory.  They need the most care.  Likewise I cannot relent in my pursuit of holiness through the means of grace.  A sweet truth today can slip from my grasp just as easily tomorrow as a new verse can slip from my mind.  I could fail to apply it, or I could forget it altogether.  Like the constant washing of the dishes, I must constantly focus my heart and mind on grace.

I know for certain that when I am focused on grace, and when I am swimming in those depths of delight, my life could not be happier or more secure.  They supersede all external problems or wonders.


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