FUN: Good and clean, of course!

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Call me crazy but one of my favorite times each week takes place at church – not sitting in the pew listening, not standing praising, but in the kitchen – washing dishes.
 
I hate washing dishes – especially the George Foreman Grill I have at home. You can verify this by surveying my  family members or you can simply believe me and begin intercessory prayer on my behalf.  But seriously, it’s true.Wednesday nights at church involve dinner and dinner means dishes. My inaugural Wednesday night job several years ago was to stock a separate dessert table. But that’s a dangerous job for many reasons and anyone who isn’t their ideal weight knows what I mean.  

 So, my day passes and I show up. Prior to kitchen duty I work a table pouring lemonade and tea so those who have a plate in one hand can get a drink in the other without performing crazy balancing tricks. I say hello and introduce myself. I find a strange pleasure in helping people I know and those I don’t with this simple task.    

Desserts are still in the picture, but they’re not a table unto themselves now. They share the end of the drink table. Let’s just say I’m thankful for diversification.      

Sometimes I sit and listen while a video lesson is being shown. Other times, I need to stand because I’ve been sitting in front of a computer screen all day while providing meaningful educational instruction and directing tweenagers in the fine art of expository writing. And then sometimes, I need the alone time.    

Once “it’s a wrap,” the official clean up begins and I head for the sink. There’s not much structure in the process except that unidentifiable hands drop in trays, salad bar item bowls, spoons and a myriad of other items and I take it from there.    

Clean, wet items land on a dish towel to the right where other hands lift them, dry them and replace them to their assigned areas. In the meantime, people drop by and say hello, some give me hugs and others zoom in and out doing the various break down activities needed after feeding 150 people.    

So why am I writing about washing dishes? I think it’s because I want people to know that serving God can be simple. I’m not any more spiritually mature or golden than anyone else, but dishes can be washed as unto the Lord, lemonade can be poured as unto the Lord, and that we can bless others with helpfulness as unto the Lord.    

Tonight one of our pastors popped his head around the wall  inside the kitchen and thanked me. Even if no one had done that I would have been fine. I just smiled and said, “It’s my week to do the dishes.”    

What he doesn’t know is that I’m glad to serve in such a way and I’m glad to do those dishes every week – whether I’m thanked or not.    

Maybe the kitchen is one of my everyday mission fields. Maybe I’ve had too many desserts.  Maybe God gets a kick out of us trying to demonstrate His love doing orindary tasks or it’s all three! Whatever the reasons, though, I’ll be glad to do dishes ANY week – as long as it’s at church.    

 Just wondering: What simple tasks has God transformed in your life as ministry opportunities or ways to show His love to others?

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4 thoughts on “FUN: Good and clean, of course!

  1. Joanne

    LOVE this! And it is So much more fun doing domestic chores at someone elses house.. especially the Lords!!! Thank you for your willing heart!

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  2. lauradroege

    Hi, Cheryl,
    I saw your comment on Michael Hyatt’s blog, read that you are a professional writer, and decided to stop by and read some of your entries. I enjoyed what you had to say about how God transforms those simple, mundane things into chances to show Him to others.

    For me, I’ve found a chance through things related to my writing. For example, I wanted to improve my fiction writing ability and so I joined an online writing review site. I’ve gotten some good feedback and in return, I get to review other writers’ work.

    It’s a labor of love…some people don’t want honest feedback and others do, some people don’t know a semicolon from a question mark, while others are proficient writers. It takes time to read and think about what needs to be worked on in a piece. It would be tempting to be dismissive toward those who are terrible writers, but I try to be as kind and encouraging as possible. Just those simple little things like saying “I like this analogy” can make a difference in whether or not they see Jesus in me and are encouraged in their writing.

    Whew. Kind of long-winded, aren’t I?!

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    • Laura: Thank you so much for dropping by. Your comments about feedback are absolutely on target. Seems like God has given you the gift of encouragement and being able to apply it with love is a true blessing. Those who know you and have your comments are fortunate indeed. I hope God will use with comes from my head and heart here to encourage those who are close to Him to move closer and for those observing, wondering and weighing the risks of faith to come closer. Please feel free to come by anytime and I look forward to getting to know you better! – Cheryl

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