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Doing the Dishes

by Kathleen Angell  
1/11/2007 / Christian Living

My husband had a same day surgery. We had gotten up at four thirty in the morning, went in to the hospital, and his surgery was at eight thirty a.m., and then to recovery, and then a room recovery till twelve thirty and then home. He was in pain. His heart had set off the alarms so much because of being too slow, they'd turned off the machine. He then opted for less pain meds, as they had that side affect on his heart, and we just wanted to be careful. We stopped at the store on the way home, and being tired and right out of a operation, he stayed in the car, and I got his prescription filled, and we finally went home. I was concerned over him and just wanted to get him into bed to rest. Upon just getting him settled into bed, and both tired- right then, someone knocked on the door. It was someone we knew, a Christian friend. They came in and sat down in the chair I provided, across from my husband, barely noticing the state he was in. They began to talk excitedly and vent, almost wildly, because of their needs, hardly aware of my husband's condition. I mentioned it numerous times to them, that he had just had an operation, but there was not an awareness at all. Only a reaction to their own need and what they were going through. My first reaction was to look at the situation with natural eyes. They only could see a need to vent their own problems, to talk to someone. They had not even come to our house until now, we had recently moved, nor did they know my husband was having surgery that day. I was reacting to all those thoughts. My husband, because of the Lord, loves this person. He didn't seem to want to get rid of them especially. I felt I'd have to step in and do it. I wanted to protect my husband who was not up to this visit. Several times, I went in and spoke of the need for my husband for rest. I was preparing to make a final clear statement that it was time to leave. I went in and looked at my husband and we kind of communicate to each other somehow, by a glance I think, but I pretty well came to the conclusion that the person was in more need than we were, right then, and that my husband was in that attitude of thought, and I might as well settle down. There was a good attitude of heart with love, present, and I could see my husband with the same. Jesus' love was present to settle down into a good attitude of heart. And to get about the business of being kind to the person who had come by, and pay attention to them. To let them have the time they needed to be there and talk. Though circumstances were a bit contrary to thinking this was the way it should be, to just be loving to them, and let them talk. The Lord made it so easy. I think the time there, did them much good. It was a grace moment. And it lasted some time. They just needed some attention, and a place to talk. Jesus' love was present there for them and for us. The Lord is so good. I could feel the loving grace of Jesus through the time spent with them, and the attitude of being put out by them left quickly as we settled into being there for them. Because of Jesus' love and grace to do so. Bringing every thought captive to the presence of Jesus' loving kindness and attentiveness to another. His love does that. It turned out lovely. My husband rested when they left, and we knew the Lord would cover him. The next day, I was at the sink, doing dishes. Such a joy was in me. Full and overflowing, that is His love. I was thinking to the Lord how much change He had brought into my life since before I had known Him. I use to hate doing the dishes. As I thought on it quickly to the Lord, I thought, why, I love doing the dishes now. I could easily see the tremendous contrast, as I truly felt love in doing this. Then I realized that the love I felt doing the dishes was the same love and grace that had been present with our friend the day before. It had remained since the day before, when our friend had visited, in an underlying presence of the Lord Jesus' love. Joy was present so greatly I felt like dancing around the house at the joy of doing the dishes at the sink, there with His presence so there. The Joy became so profound, it was as if Jesus were smiling at me in the Presence of His Joy. The same presence of love, and joy I was feeling and seeing so clearly now was the same presence of love that was there for the person who came by, and also for me, to allow Him to wash over my attitude and give me a new one, the same love to give to the friend who'd come by. The same love from Jesus Christ that I felt now in such great joy. In our slight distress, it was His presence that made it possible to do the little task of being there for someone else in need, sweet, and also to even know to do it, during a time of our own need, that would have seemed distasteful.

Later, as I write, I can see how this person had been undergoing great stress. It had accumulated to a pressure point that needed a release. I thank the Lord for allowing them to come to our house, and causing us to yield to His leading, which was love. And for allowing a time to vent and release their frustration and feelings.

If there was no one there, as a vessel, maybe the suffering for this friend would have been so very great. But Jesus knows and He was there in our room for that person. He knew what they needed even when we didn't. Just the simple quiet leading of the Holy Spirit in day to day life. And the simple following through grace. Not a hardship at all on our part, not at all, as the Lord has already borne it on the cross. Ours was just to receive. Full of grace, from the riches of His grace. All glory is Jesus', it is all His precious doing and His presence of Love. Making the tasks we encounter full of joy and love, as he washes over our lives with good attitudes of love and in the smallest things, like helping others, or doing the dishes, we find great joy.

My name is Kathleen Angell.

My life was dramatically changed when the Lord made Himself real to me.

We have a outreach locally and for over ten years to Kenya children to feed those in need. I love sharing about the Lord Jesus Christ and the wonderful things He has done

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