One Dish at a Time

I had a question. Well, I had many questions. My younger self contemplated thoughts too big for my little mind. So I would save my big questions for a time when I could be confident of securing my busy mother’s full attention. That was when she washed the dishes and I dried. Looking back, I see these uninterrupted moments with her to be pivotal as I tried to piece together life’s enigmatic puzzle.

I usually began with a sort of exclamation that would lead to my big, most pressing question.

Image result for free images of 1950s doing dishes with mom

Mom”, I announced: “I feel sorry for God.”

“What on earth for?” she returned, a bit stunned by my statement.

Because there are too many people for God to love and some of them are not nice. “

“Well”, she started, “God can do anything, even loving everyone at once no matter who they are and what they do. He loves them anyway, sending his angels to help them to be better people, better daughters, better sons, better parents, and better neighbors.”

“But I am supposed to love my neighbor as myself. At church I learned that everyone is my neighbor. How can I love so many people at one time?”

My mom heaved a big sign and took some time before she answered:

Well, when it gets hard, think of it as the way we do the dishes—One dish at a time.”


daughter tugging on her mothers jacket - tugging mother stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
The way we talk to children becomes their inner voice.  
         ----Peggy O'Mara


You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18

We have the capacity to wash just one more dish.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Nancy E Buhrer says:

    I am smiling- awesome!!! Thank you!


  2. Carol Anne Pinnel says:

    I love your little tidbits about your family. You must have had good parents as did I. Too bad with all the modern appliances we now have those moments we shared when we were younger that spurred warm, special moments don’t happen as often. I hope I made moments that my daughters remember as special. I love water lilies….thanks for the references.


    1. Time is such a trickster. Technology gives us more time, but then we fill it with more busy-ness. Those long slow days of our youth presented more opportunities for just being together.

      Like you, I hope I created those moments with my daughter too. We grandparents are lucky to have more time with the little ones.
      Thank you, Carol, for taking the “time” to comment. It is appreciated.


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