“Pray without ceasing.” I Thessalonians 5:17
As a little girl, my mother would always wash dishes as my sisters and I would dry. We did not have a dishwasher until I was 12! Standing sink-side always opened up conversation between us. Mom also instituted a little game, challenging “we three” to try to keep the drain board empty as she filled it with perfectly washed glasses, dishes, and pans. It was three against one, so it seemed like an easy win! But, we could never keep up! Mom was always faster! Despite our loss, her little game kept us focused to complete the task. It also kept us close by. Songs were sung cheerily. Dialogue danced between us.
As a grown woman, I find that standing at the sink, completing a variety of chores, gives me an opportunity to talk with Jesus. Ironically, it is a place that I routinely hear Him speak as I go about what is just a routine chore in my day. The white noise of the water drowns out other happenings of the house. My ears become attuned to the Lord’s voice and my focus shifts. I am “washed by the water through His Word” (Ephesians 5:26) as I reflect upon what He is teaching my heart. As I meditate on His Word, He is washing over me, bathing me in His love and grace.
The Lord is so very interested in bending low to his children (Psalm 17:6, 86:1, 116:2). Just like a mother bends to hear the whisper and whimper of her child, I can just see the Father bending to be near one of His children when they call upon Him. His desire is for us to linger a bit longer, to converse with the Savior.
Gazing out my kitchen window while scrubbing a casserole dish, turns my attention to His creation. With each passing day and season, I see the fine tapestry of His creativity. As I watch birds, flowers, and trees growing in response to His divine care, I know I am even more loved than these! I can find rest in His promises! (Matthew 6:25-34).
There are days when my “quiet time” is nowhere near a carved out hour, maintaining a posture of prayer while in an easy chair, but rather, “quiet time” is spent as I go about my daily tasks. It has trained me to “be about my Father’s business” and keep my spiritual radar locating His lead. Often He will lead me to a greater understanding of how He is moving in my life. Or, Holy Spirit will often bring someone to mind. I will pray for them. I take that time at the sink, to pray for my husband, children, and our church. Those prayers do not dispose down the drain. Instead they are like a spray; a fountain rising up to the Lord.
Washing dishes remind me to “wash the inside of the cup before the outside” (Matthew 23:26). So as I pray about situations or relationships, I am positioned to search my own heart to see if there be any wicked or dirty way in me (Psalm 139:23-24). The water cleanses me even as I clean what is in the sink.
There is a baptism of my hands, as I then leave the sink to go about other tasks to care for my home, family and others. “Clean hands and a pure heart” are a result of standing at my counter going about a meaningless task. (Psalm 24:4)
Sink-side spirituality is real.
And by the way, decades later, I still cannot outdo my mom at the sink!