A sink full of dishes becomes, at times, a sanctuary for epiphanies.
While rinsing plates, I muse over a brother’s interesting habit of occasionally cutting the sleeves off of long-sleeved athletic shirts. Having grown up in a sea of athletic and tactical apparel catalogs, I know full well what Under Armour costs and cringe at the thought of chopping up high-quality gear. Ryan sees it differently. He feels that his alterations add value to the item by making it better suited to his intended use.
He has a point.
I do not deal well with alterations, I realize as the dish disposal rattles on eggshells and grapefruit seeds.
It perplexes me to see a perfectly good thing altered; anyone’s perfectly good shirt, perfectly good plan, perfectly good love, perfectly good dream. Wholeness is elegant. Fragmentation is not. Gaps should be remedied, never created.
But rarely, it seems, is the kingdom of heaven furthered by perfectly good things. Rather, it was commissioned to sinners, thieves, and prostitutes. Failures redeemed. The poor in spirit. How else can we enter the kingdom besides being altered, emptied, made new?
And yet, too often I protest Christ’s alteration of my plans and purposes as I do the shearing of sleeves from a fine piece of athletic apparel. I cling to my “perfectly good things” until my short supply of stamina runs dry, then grieve the remnants. It was a good thing. A perfectly good thing. Past tense.
Despite my unbelief, He continues to reform my “perfectly good” (which is to say comfortable, attainable, untested) into fitness for service. Letting go of what you cherish is never easy and rarely uncomplicated, but sanctification exchanges good enough for glorious. Divine alterations are always value added.
The dishes are done and a grain of sight restored.
The flames and smoke climbed out of every window
And disappeared with everything that you held dear
But you shed not a single tear
For the things that you didn’t need
‘Cause you knew you were finally free.
Death Cab for Cutie, “Your Heart Is an Empty Room”