Monday, August 1, 2016

Dishwashers and Dryers and Space-making Grace

Right smack in the middle of the summer, between sticky humid days that never seem to cool off, the dishwasher quit working. I pushed the start button twice, then three times - as if it just needed to be jarred awake. Hey - you've got a job to do. Wake up! I bought paper plates at the grocery store and stood at the sink late at night, plunged in deep, right up to my forearms. Before we found the blessedly simple fix, the dryer decided to take a vacation as well. On Monday afternoon I stand in a sun spot and hang wet clothes up on the line while the toddlers run back and forth beneath flapping sheets.

It's been a while since I've been here. That line waits between my garage and the oak tree but somehow life gets in the way when one clothesline is no longer enough to hold the laundry needs of a family our size. Revisiting it for a bit reminds me, like a gentle tug, of this type of meditative work that helps to center me, to free my mind even as my hands work. There's never anything small about the smoothing out of chaos, the gentle setting to rights type of work that makes up a housewife's days. It's here that I find order, and, thus, peace. It's here that my mind is unleashed to dream and to wonder, to listen, to pray. It's a good place I didn't know I missed.

The summer is beginning to wind down and we're in the middle of a whirlwind, visiting friends and family and so much goodness that my heart feels heavy at the thought of it ending. Because when this is over, then what? Just regular life. Nothing special. Work and school and life. But then appliances break and I'm reminded that every day is an opportunity to make space for grace. To beckon it close, welcome it in, hold it up. To look through it like a lens, aperture opened wide to let all the light in. It's a precious miracle just for us, and each time I'm reminded of it I wonder how it's just so easy to forget. There are no circumstances, no secret hurts, no busted up and broken lives that are exempt from grace.

It's all from Him and all for us.

All heaven and earth a wild tangle of unfathomable grace.

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