Monday, July 18, 2011

doing the dishes

Hey beautiful people, 

I hope you've had a full week of love and compassion, colours and liveliness!

A quick caveat: As I dream and think on these ideas through the week, I'm faced with the inevitability that including everyone in each 'something' is impossible. So, I'll put it to you: if you feel as though there's a 'hole', perhaps that hole is who you are to be thinking on for the week. Know what I mean jelly bean? ;)

I think it's funny how different things stick to our memories and other things don't. And this week, one of those funny sticky memories bubbled up to the surface and made me pause. 

I've been to Africa on three occasions and I can easily say that it is my favorite place I've ever dreamed of and been to. When I was in my early twenties, I ventured to Kenya with a troupe of young adults wanting to love on African people. I was blessed beyond measure by the graciousness and kindness of the people we met there. 

Being one of the leaders, I tended to stay back some days and prepare stuff or finish things up. One day there was a whole bunch of dishes that got left behind due to the group needing to be somewhere earlier than anticipated. So I filled up one of the kettles with water, lit a match, started the stove, and began warming up the water to do the task at hand. I was hunched over and scraping the dishes clean when one of our local friends popped in to say hello. She was a lovely woman who was thoughtful and helpful and we chatted happily on the beautiful morning. 

I was busy scraping away while we were talking and before I'd realized what was happening, she had washed half of my dishes in the freezing cold water! I quickly started to dry them to seem a least a little helpful!! There was no stopping her at this point, and lickety-split, the dishes were done. We finished up our chat, she was off to do an errand and I giggled to myself while walking back from saying good-bye. I headed over to the stove to turn off the burner, and noticed that the water hadn't even begun to boil. 

photo cred: BAUMGART foto

It hadn't even occurred to me to do the dishes in cold water - I of course thought they'd get cleaner in hot. And frankly, my super-smart-husband may tell me that that's the case. But that's not the point. The point, this week anyway, is that there are a lot of people that don't have the same 'ease-of-use' lifestyle that we do. 

(I'm making a grand assumption that most of my team of people are from first-world places. Or to put it a simpler way, places with easily-accessed-clean-running-water, cold and hot.)

Now, these people may not see not having hot tap water as a deficit, and it's true, there are harder things in life. But it causes me to pause. My husband and I have many luxuries here in our home, and I'm incredibly thankful for them. This week, those luxuries begged me to pray for those that do not have them. It may not make their lives impossible, but in some ways, it can make their lives harder. More challenging, more taxing. 

I like being able to stand upright at my sink, turn on the hot water tap, and wash my dishes. (Or some of you may even be blessed with dishwashers!! Lucky ducks!) I wonder what my friend would think of not having to crouch over a plastic bowl on the dirt ground washing her dishes in cold water. 

Anyway, maybe this week isn't even about thinking/praying/sending-happy-thoughts to those people who don't have some of our luxuries. Perhaps it's about reminding ourselves that we're blessed beyond measure in even the simplest of things that we take for granted. 

However you choose to spend your happy-thought-sending-time this week, do it with a smile and a laugh at my silliness for not just washing those darn dishes in the cold water!!

love and hugs
sarah d. 

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