Posts Tagged ‘finding God’

Doing dishes

Last week the opening latch on my dishwasher, which has always been difficult, finally went kaput, and just won’t close the dishwasher at all.

We have a call into the repair man, but in the meantime…I have returned to the sink, doing the dishes the old fashioned way — by hand!

I fill the sinks with sparkly hot water, a wash side and a rinse side; submerge my hands and the dishes in the bubbly suds and dunk them for a rinse, then up on the drying towel. I finish the toweling and return the items to the cupboard.

While I am doing this, my thoughts drift back to childhood where it was an “after-dinner” requirement to share the dish washing with my brothers. Today, I put on a favorite CD and the music reminds me of certain times, certain places in my life. Hint: most of my CD’s are, shall we say, “aged”. Other than Justin Bieber, I don’t know the favs of my grandchildren’s generation.

I also pray, in particular right now, for some very large needs of safety and health for a niece and nephew’s family.

I hear bits and pieces of the TV, and interrupt Tom with his TV ears, with “what did they just say?”

But I am also quiet some of the time. And I become centered with the swirling of the dish water and gentle motion. I’m not in a hurry mode in life these days so washing dishes does not make me out of sorts for the other parts of my day.

Practicing the Presence is one of my prayer practices that dates all the way back to Brother Lawrence many centuries ago….he loved finding God in his  monastery kitchen and at the sink.  I am reading “You Are Here” now by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, and like walking meditation, he too sings the praises of mindfulness at the kitchen sink.

Father Jim got back from his thirty day silent “self-directed” retreat at a Benedictine monastery and he told us before Mass this morning how it went. He had so looked forward to it and planned it out. He said he had missed us and was glad to be back. But he had a young priest (I didn’t know they made them that young anymore!) subbing for him today.

Here is how his retreat went: He arrived with a toothache and by nightfall of his first day there, he found himself in a dentist chair getting an extraction. The next morning, he awoke with scabs and a rash all over his face.  It was discovered to be Shingles.

The third day, the head of the monastery pulled him aside and said, he knew that Fr. Jim did not want him to direct his retreat, and that it was obvious that he, himself as he had wished to, was not directing his retreat; he said he thought it best that Fr. Jim just go along with what God seemed to have in mind for him.

So he said he did. He said he had marvelous, close experiences of the presence of God, which he could probably not put into words. But then he cautioned us that we didn’t need to go off to any monastery to find God — we could find him right where we were in our daily life — any time, any day, anywhere.

That’s what I’m doing right now.  I’m doing the dishes.

I’m finding God.

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