The other day I was emptying our dishwasher and as I carefully stacked the dishes together, I had a flash back to college days.
I worked in the food service of my dorm to help pay for room and board. One of my weekly jobs was working the “slop line”. It was as charming as it sounds.
When students were finished eating, they put their trays with all the leftover food, silverware, plates, cups, paper goods, artistry they had created with their mashed potatoes and peas…just everything…on a conveyer belt that passed through a window.
On the other side of that window was a line of fellow students, dressed in white t-shirts, jeans, aprons and rubber gloves. As the trays passed us we grabbed our assigned objects and filled plastic bins that were run through a behemoth dishwasher.
Those passed on to other students, who grabbed the steaming hot plates, cups and utensils throwing them onto big carts and running the empty racks back to the front of the line.
We served quite a few large dorms and on weekends when you could eat wherever you wanted, many students came to our cafeteria because we did have the best cooks.
It was a hot, messy, dirty job and you were moving fast the entire time to keep up with it all. But it was hilarious and fun and we were all miserable together so it wasn’t a bad gig.
But what my remembering brought up the other day was on a trip home for a break and I was helping my mom in the kitchen. As I emptied her dishwasher, she gasped as she asked me to please stop slamming her dishes together so hard. She feared I would break them I was using such force.
I realized that I was used to chucking industrial strength, food service style plates and bowls and had forgotten how to treat nice things.
And my point is this.
During the past few years with the pandemic and all it’s isolation, conflict, divisions along with the political unrest and the memes and sarcasm and jabs that fill social media…we may have gotten so used to coarse talk and trying to get the last word in the we have forgotten how to be nice to each other.
We are stressed.
We are frustrated.
Inflation, talking heads, bad behavior by people who are supposed to be leaders…it wears us down.
And we start to become careless with our own mouths and typing fingers. We forget the preciousness of others and how our words and actions can bring life or death depending on our choices.
Let’s choose life.
Let’s choose words and actions that show mercy and kindness.
Let’s not grow weary in doing good…for in due time…if we won’t give up…we will reap a reward…or so says Paul in Galatians 6:9.
Hang in there…the world needs us being salt and light <3