A Lesson on Grace from My Dishwasher

“First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well” Matthew 23:26

There it is again, staring me straight in the face. It’s the milk container. In the cupboard.

Good grief. How could I do that again? “Mom brain” has officially taken on a whole new meaning lately. This is the second time I’ve tucked the milk safely into the cupboard after my morning coffee. And there it lived for a full 24 hours. Yuck.

So now we are off to a coffee-less morning (because I just can’t drink coffee black). Nonetheless, a little person needs my love and this house needs some serious attention.

I proceeded to unload the dishwasher with the “help” of two tiny hands. I have now learned to do almost every household chore one handed while the other hand entertains Summer with her favorite puppet, or supervises the “assistance” she insists on providing. I’m sure there’s a lesson to be gleaned from her desire to help. I’ll uncover that lesson one day soon, I pray.

After a 30-minute session of Mr. Polar Bear (the puppet) helping mommy and Summer put away the dishes, I took a close look inside the last bowl I was about to place in the cupboard. And then I noticed the dried oatmeal stuck inside. Ugh. I slung open the other cabinet and studied the cups we had put away. Yup, all dirty. I just put away an entire load of dirty dishes.

It was 9AM and I had been puked on, caught Summer drinking from the dog bowl, cleaned up a dirty diaper, taken three dog toys out of Summer’s mouth, ran down the street in my pajamas chasing Baylor who decided to run off, grieved my lack of coffee, and now I was wanting a glass of wine.


Sort of.

“Lord. Why?” I asked.

He brought to mind the scripture from Matthew 23:26 “First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well”

It is so tempting to spend my time shining up the surface. Making everything look tidy and put-together. But that would rob me of an opportunity to advance the Gospel. It would take away the opportunity for the Lord to show His mercy and grace through my mess.

I want to be raw and broken and allow the Lord to redeem me internally. And from that place of intimacy with Him I want to shine and bring Him glory.

And this takes time. Time that I often do not want to spend. I do not want to sit through a wash cycle with my Maker. I want to listen to the podcast, read the verse, sing the song, and by so doing overcome sin. But that’s not grace. I’m not one sermon away from “getting it.”

Grace is that each day, I can sit before my Maker and be washed clean by doing nothing at all. I do not have to sing a song or pray a prayer or read a verse. I can simply acknowledge that I can do nothing apart from Him, and that I need Him to cleanse me from my mess.

And from that place before Him, from His wash cycle alone, I am redeemed.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”  1 John 1:9

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51:10

“So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” Ephesians 5:26


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