Mozzarella and White Plates
Tonight I did the dishes.
This is an event that happens with slightly more regularity than a sighting of Halley's Comet.
It's not that I don't like to do the dishes - well, it's not just that. When I get home at the end of the day I sometimes go into "standby mode" while longing for the arrival of "sleep mode". I don't stop to think how the food got on the plate.
To me it's one of those things that happen. Like manna. It just...appears.
And like manna, it usually needs a little salt.
Anyway, The Wife shot by me carrying her Bible and study book while searching for her purse. She was standing in front of the TV while scanning the room, blocking Opey and Andy. I sucked in a breath to say something when she spotted the purse.
"There it is."
That worked out well. And just in time to see Barney dig for The Bullet.
"Okay, I'm off to the Ladies Bible Study. Take care of the dishes...please?"
"Sure, I got em. Have fun."
A few minutes later the minivan's headlights flashed through the Living Room part of the Dining/Living/Computer/Family Room, bringing me back from Mayberry.
"Did I...what did I..............oh, yeah. The dishes."
I made the choice between the old Batman show or The Wife's ire upon returning to a dirty kitchen. I'm gettin' wiser in my old age.
Circumventing the piano and dodging the little dining room table, I wandered into the kitchen.
Wow. A bunch of dishes. And pots. Skillet. Silverware. And glasses.
I rationalized just doing the dishes since she asked me to do "the dishes", not all the other stuff. Then a sudden realization of the consequences hit me...IF I survived the "Wife-coming-home" experience there still wasn't a jury in the world that would convict her.
So I started the hot water and added the Joy.
While waiting for the fill-up, I filled up my cup with the Elixir of Knowledge and stared at the birdfeeder. About four minutes later I finished wiping up the suds on the floor. Wow. That stuff really foams.
It was then that I made the discovery that birthed this post.
(And thank you, dear reader, for hanging in there this far. Um, you are reading this...right?)
I grabbed one of our plates. We have, for the last 20-some years, used only plain white Corelle plates. The tighty-whiteys of table settings. If one breaks, you just pick up another one at WalMart. Like buying white cotton tube socks. Easy to match. And cheap.
The plate didn't look dirty so I gave it a quick pass with the dishcloth and put it into the other sink for rinsing. Something caught my eye.
A lot of the plate wasn't shining. Looked like there were dull spots. All over it. I ran my hand over it. Lumps. Small chunks. I held it up under the cabinet light. Oh, maaaaannn.
The ninja of cheeses. Tough. Invisible. And it puts up quite a fight.
Resorting to a steak knife and a Brillo pad, I chipped and muttered my way to a clean plate.
I rinsed it. The whole plate sparkled under the over-the-sink light. There we go.
The dishes were finished, (...yeah, yeah...all the other stuff, too), dried, and put away.
I grabbed a cup of the Elixir and resumed my perch at my end of the sofa. But I left the TV off.
Mozzarella and white plates. Looking clean. But not.
The Elixir started to do that thing that it does. Connecting things. Floating thinks to the surface, bobbing ideas up like wreckage from a freshly-sunken ship.
Oh. Really? Well...yeah...I s'pose...
My life can get dirty. Ignorance, neglect, and just being too busy makes me give it a quick wipe and rinse once a week on Sunday. But I'm carryin' crud. I don't sparkle.
If I'm quiet and still, I can hear Him.
"Come. Let us reason together..." (Yeah....I grew up listening to Him in King James.)
Then if I allow His Touch and place myself in His Hands, He holds me up to His Light.
Annnnnnnnnd, yeah...there's stuff there.
He loves me enough to get me clean.
Even if He has to use a Brillo pad.
And the neat part?
When He's done, He can see His Face in the reflection of my life.
I can't sparkle any better than that, eh?