The Great Gift of Dirty Dishes


Image Description: A sink of dirty dishes (not mine; a different set than I’m about to describe below!) One side of the sink has lots of bubbles from dish soap. Public Domain image.

For the last year, I’ve had the great privilege of hosting a group of young adults in my home. We are an interspiritual discussion community. Over that time, our conversations have been wonderfully enriching, and our relationships have grown very deep. As both have happened, we have become a family group for each other.

Young adults in their 20s experience a lot of transience, moving often. It’s a gift to have a sense of home with one another. I feel so fortunate that I get to host them in my house, providing home-space for these home-relationships to develop.

On Sunday, they all came over for a family meal. I made tortilla soup, and we gathered at the table, which we expanded with the typically-stored table leaves. We told stories, laughed hard, and had a discussion around this question:

What does it mean to home-build?

At the end of our time, we all took a photo on couch, something that has become a tradition. Then before they left, we cleaned up, organizing dishes into the dishwasher. But those dishes didn’t all fit, so after everyone left, I organized the stacks a bit more, cleaned the counters, and went to bed, leaving the rest for the morning.

When I woke up the next day, I encountered the mess of them in the sink, and instead of inwardly groaning, I beamed. I delighted that I had had all of these beloved people with me in one place the night before.

This is part of what it means to home-build.

Dirty dishes. A memory of a shared meal. Home-space. Home-relationships.

Renee Roederer

2 thoughts on “The Great Gift of Dirty Dishes

  1. Your thoughts here fit in beautifully with UPC Tempe AZ PWC lesson we are having today…on the Third Commandment (but we are trying not to use that term) . I’ll be sharing with my Circle.


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