I don’t know about you, but I’m sure there are moms out there that struggle with the seemingly never-ending task of cleaning up after the members of their household. Let’s at least imagine that you and I are like that. Hypothetically, of course.
It’s a Monday morning, a fresh start, or so it would seem. When you walk into the kitchen you’re actually kind of impressed that the kids managed to clean up as much as they did after making your dinner last night (a lovely assortment of leftovers). They were, after all, blessing your socks off when you were flat-out exhausted.
But then you notice the grease all over the stove, so you grab the washcloth and wipe things down without flinching. You usually do at least one thing to straighten up your kitchen while waiting on your coffee.
But then there are the dirty dishes that didn’t make it into the dishwasher, and the clean ones on the other counter that never got put away. And then you look over at the microwave. That wondrous instrument of quick cooking, the one the kids use the most–and with all the greasy fingers they can muster.
Just touching the buttons sends shivers up your spine.
You grab the washrag yet again, feeling the grumbles heat up inside you as the tap water heats to a similarly scalding level. Somehow you think this is what it takes to get the job done, especially when you see the inside of the microwave.
You begin to murmur to yourself, “This is cutting into my Bible time.”
And then the grace of conviction haults your thoghts. That was mighty self-righteous of you when you could just spend this time with the Lord anyway instead of grumbling.
Once disarmed, your flustered thoughts begin to retreat, making room for a scripture to charge into the battle: Love covers a multitude of sins.
Suddenly you realize that love is patient, and kind, and all that, not because you really have 1 Corinthians 13 running through your head right now, but because you are meditating on love covers a multitude of sins while doling out the elbow grease. I love those little monsters, so I don’t mind cleaning up after them. These messes are evidence that they are loving and growing, too.
And the Lord is with me whether I’m kneeling in front of my microwave or sitting on the couch with my Bible.
The motto ora et labora–pray and work–comes to mind now, too, and you begin to pray for the members of your household, exchanging drudgery for intercession.
The coffee may be a bit cold, and your Bible might still be waiting for you, but you have indeed had quiet time with the Lord, by His gentle, refining grace.
And the microwave is clean now, so go heat up that coffee and sit down to the Feast. And maybe let the kids join you since they’ll be coming down the stairs any minute now.