Our baby girl is soon to be a senior at Houston Baptist University. She has been busy not only making the dean's list but also moving up the on-campus housing food chain. She started out with seven other girls sharing a four bedroom dorm room with only two bathrooms. Then onto the “Hodo,” a multi-story, slick looking glass and brick building that comes complete with housekeeping, free laundry, etc. Finally, she feels grown up living with last year’s roommate in Husky Village - her first apartment (can you remember yours). I gotta tell you dad felt a little weird driving off with her boyfriend waving at us from the balcony as we drove back home.

Here’s my point. The philosophy major loves her roommate but her roommate does not love doing dishes. Klaire is a bit of a neat freak and very organized, everything has a place and apparently, everyone is to do their own dishes.

It’s funny how we miss opportunities to serve others, show off our Christianity and practice the stuff Jesus taught us. As I listened to the perfect “bookend” to our family complain I could think of a jillion Bible verses that she could apply to herself but of course I’m a good dad so I just listened. I listened and thought I wish I had learned these lessons when I was twenty years old.

I’m re-reading Brennan Manning’s epic work, The Ragamuffin Gospel with our oldest daughter Brooke. Mr. Manning tells the story of a Christian who prayed, “Dear God, I have only one desire in life. Give me the grace of never offending You again.”

When God heard this He LOL and replied, “If I granted you this grace, tell Me, whom would I forgive.”

We have to have the thorns in our side to be able to practice forgiveness, don’t we? In some holy way, we should be thankful for those people in our lives who don’t do dishes.

I read somewhere that we are supposed to “look not only at our own interests but the interests of others (Philippians 2:4).” I also read that we should be like the Rabbi and be here “not to be served, but to serve” others. When do we get up from the table and wrap the towel around our waist and wash some feet (John 13:4 & 5)?

Go ahead, go wash somebody’s dishes. He told me to tell you that.


Ken Ansell currently serves as a pastor and local missionary in small, rural Texas community. He plays lots of tennis and fly fishes when he can. He can be reached at kenansell1@gmail.com