I will periodically post excerpts from the 1967 ed of Spire Books', "The Practice of the Presence of God," by and about Brother Lawrence (c. 1614-1691). Perhaps they'll help put kitchen "business" in right perspective. The following are from the publishers' Preface:
Picture
Fame and greatness are relative values and often a delusion and a snare, depending upon circumstances and an attitude of mind. Napoleon was famous to some and infamous to others, and Jesus, crucified in his day, is greater with the passing years. Perhaps the greatest of men are those who never seek greatness at all, but who personify the virtues which posterity calls great. Such an one was Brother Lawrence... with a mind so like the mind which was in Christ, he lived so abundantly in the presence of God.

No conceited scholar was Brother Lawrence; theological and doctrinal debates bored him, if he noticed them at all. His one desire was for communion with God. We find him worshiping more in his kitchen than in his cathedral... and he could say, "the time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen... I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament."

A wholly consecrated man, he lived his life as though he were a singing pilgrim on the march, as happy in serving his fellow monks and brothers from the monastery kitchen as in serving God in the vigil of prayer and penance. He died at eighty years of age, full of love and years and honored by all who knew him.

 
 
Check out this load of dishes!
They've been piling up since I didn't get to them right after cooking about a week ago. My roommates have since helped to add to the clutter. 

There are dirty dishes. Somebody's got to do them.

There's a saying that spins around anarchist circles, "everyone wants a revolution but nobody wants to do the dishes." Nothing could ring truer in describing my years of living in community. And in a way, the same could be said about society in general. 

People use dishes without washing them. Dishes pile up. The sink overflows with dirty dishes so they cover the counters and stove. Nobody wants to clean the pile because "they're not all mine."

We sometimes approach society similarly. Poverty, inequity, homelessness, hunger, racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, heterosexism, xenophobia - these all exist, we see them all around us, overflowing the kitchen sink of our world, piling up on the counter and stove tops. So they are rare souls who confront this pile, sponge in hand, ready for the long, hard, dirty road ahead. Indeed it would seem as though cleaning dishes is the most revolutionary act of all! 

I hope to find myself in good company as the years pass, as I draw into community with fellow dishwashers, as I pursue the vision God has given me for the city of Chicago. Imagine...