In a perfect world my dishes would load themselves into the dishwasher.
In a perfect world, they would wash themselves on those evenings when I give up and go to bed.
While I'm dreaming up a perfect world, in a perfect world dinner would make itself when I don't feel like cooking and have used up the eating-out budget.
I snap the rubber dish gloves on, clap my rubberized fingers together in let's-get-her-done energy, and fish around for the drain plug at the bottom of the sink. The water is on the cool side of lukewarm.
"In a perfect world," I explain to myself and, okay I admit, to the sink-full of dish-soap scum floating on the surface of tepid water, "the sudsy hot water I filled the sink with last night would still be sudsy and hot."
In a perfect world, I'd build castles in the air and they wouldn't melt like suds.
I've been praying for loved ones who are far from the Lord. I have a picture in my mind of how close Jesus is to them. How is it, I wonder as the drain slurps scum, that He can be so close to them and they can be so far from Him?
He's just on the other side of the door knocking.
The drain knocks down the last shot of I don't know what kind of brew, burps loud, and drowns out my sink-side philosophizing. I wipe the mouth of the drain with one of the kitchen cloths my mom knitted for me; and I continue to scrape up my perfect world.
"In a perfect world, I would open the door for them!"
I rinse the cloth in hot suds, squeeze it out, hang it over the faucet to dry and I know I can't open the door for them. That's between them and Jesus.
I've opened the Bible for them, opened my mouth for them, opened my arms, opened my life, opened my heart and all the love I have in it that they might see Jesus there; but it's like opening the pantry doors for a hungry soul, and hearing,"There's nothing to eat," though I know I just stocked it with Costco-sized groceries.
I know that only they can let Jesus into their lives. And finding a doorknob in a heap of sin-yeah, sinners hoard sin-is like finding that gold ring I once accidentally dropped down the kitchen sink. I couldn't open the drain pipes under the sink to find it. Not by myself. I called this big German I married decades ago. He closed the space between his cave and my kitchen in about two strides, would've turned opened the pipes with his bare hands except that a wrench got in the way, and found my ring with the same ease that I'd like to have to turn open a few knobs of a few hearts clogged with last night's dinner scraps gone soggy.
Jesus talks about knocking at the door. I find it in my Bible, where He says, "I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him and he with Me."
He's not interested in last night's dinner scraps, melted suds, tepid water any more than I am at this moment. "Dine with Me," He says. "Open the door and dine with Me."
Isn't it perfect that Jesus knocks at the door?
In a perfect world, His voice is heard, the doorknob is found, turned open, and Jesus is invited in to dine.
Well, it's been so long since I've read these words. I've heard them far more often then I've read them. I'm surprised to find them not in the Gospels, but in Revelation. I'm surprised that these words are not spoken to those who have never heard the name of Jesus, but to those who have heard Jesus' name, have been church-goers, but are lukewarm toward Him.
I picture two faucets running hot and cold water. I imagine the waters mixing in the basin. What does this look like in a lukewarm people? In those who have known the name of Jesus, may have been on fire for Him at one point, but who now say, "I am rich, I've become wealthy, and have need of nothing"?
I ask the Lord about these things. I picture those who have not heard the name of Jesus, and I see in my mind just piles of worldly treasure stocked high in their lives.
I picture the lukewarm, those who say they have become rich and need nothing. I see in my mind every treasure-holy and unholy, clean and unclean, the name of Jesus just buried in a pile of many other names. "Lord! They couldn't find a door the size of a two car garage let alone a knob!"
The lukewarm,those who may have been saved, may have opened the door to Jesus, and then drove Him out-that's messy.
"So,"the Lord says ,"do not store up for yourselves worldly treasures. Where your heart is, so will your treasure be."
I've stored up treasures before, but seems the next day they're soggy and close to rusted, moth-eaten, maybe thieved. Green rubber gloves don't care much what they grab.
Well, I'm praying for loved ones. Their lives are clogged. They can't find the knob to turn; the table in their heart isn't set for Jesus, and yesterday's feast is soggy.
I imagine Him reclining at the table of my heart.
I imagine the most amazing fragrances wafting from the banqueting table and maybe in His kitchen the dishes do clean themselves.
I imagine He doesn't serve left-overs; and I'm certain His kitchen sink, the one filled with water from the river of life which runs crystal clean, has never burped.
I'm praying for loved ones, and I feel it. Conviction. Hot, cold, lukewarm-I've been all three.
I yank open the dishwasher door and start loading it.
I don't want soggy.
written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig