Do you have those days where your brain is buzzing? A day when multiple people need multiple things in multiple ways at multiple times? A day when the noise never ceases?
Today was one of those days. I walked in the door after work, my brain filled with bees, unable to focus and yet still so much to do. In true avoidance style, I pulled out my phone and began to scroll, thinking that just a few minutes of distraction would hush the buzz. It didn’t, of course, instead adding to the noise inside my head.
A benefit to age is that, eventually, at some point, if you remember to pay attention and listen, you begin to recognize what it is your body and mind need. I set down my phone, realizing that mine needed a break. Not a scroll or watch tv or read a book break, but a break from thinking.
Stillness was what I needed. A moment or two of complete and prayerful stillness. Before I settled in, though, I decided to do the dishes.
As I washed, my mind began to clear for the first time since early this morning. Surprised, I thought of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux who is famous for saying:
“Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.”Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
A Doctor of the Catholic Church (of whom there are only 36), Saint Thérèse teaches that the littlest of actions matter, to us and to God. Despite her lovely sentiments, I rarely connect with Saint Thérèse, preferring to participate in the big deeds. I like the complicated paths that require learning and research and thought and challenge. The little actions are the ones I rush through, trying to get to the more interesting aspects of life.
As washing dishes is a little deed, needing barely more than hands and soapy water, I resent the time it takes.
Today, though, our family dishwasher, my husband, was busy, and I wanted to help. I filled the sink with soapy water and began the task, washing and rinsing, unexpectedly finding the moment of stillness I had been seeking in the rhythm.
If we can call acts of love, prayer, and I think we can, my tiny act of love was enough for my body, my mind, and my soul to enter into the prayer it needed. That simple act of washing the dishes brought me back to what matters most each and every day, love.
If I could fill my house with prints from The modern saints by gracie, I would. She is the brilliant mind behind the image featured in this post. Visit https://www.themodernsaints.com/therese-of-lisiex for the print.