The autumn masthead at the top of the blog shows the changes God’s painting in our woods at this time of year. From the changing leaf colors to the sunny but chilly days to the cranberry autumn tea that goes so well with a piece of pumpkin cake, to the acrid aroma of burning leaves, fall draws me to itself. Perhaps I breathe more deeply, savor the lingering shafts of sunlight that will soon give way to long nights, appreciate God’s artistry with color and smells. Whatever it involves, autumn reigns as my favorite season. Not surprisingly then, my prayer window draws me to praise and reflection.
When we had this cabin built, we chose not to put in a dishwasher. After all, Dave said, “I have you.” I offered no resistance since we have few dishes to wash with only two of us here most of the time. And when we have friends or family visiting, we have plenty of offers for help in the kitchen. Perhaps my window draws others as it does me. Hot soapy water relaxes my often cold, aching hands, and the simple task of dishwashing makes me think of Brother Lawrence and his Practice of the Presence of God. That man loved the Lord and maintained a calm, prayerful demeanor in the midst of a bustling kitchen at the monastery.I confess that I have never maintained the focus he speaks of for long, but the effort is always an encouragement to my soul.
My prayer window draws my heart to the Lord’s creation and praise often comes out audibly as I take the little bird’s admonition to sing quite literally. How thankful I am for all the music I have learned over the years. Memorized scripture songs and hymns come back and course through my mind whether I sing aloud or not.
The window sill also houses good reminders about living a life that honors God: “Forgive as soon as possible. Love without boundaries, Laugh without control and never stop smiling.”
The menial task of washing dishes also frees my mind for memorizing scripture. The older I get, the more difficult this task becomes, so I need as much review as possible. Whether you have ready-made cards like this one from the Navigators, or make your own artistic versions, this dishpan time allows the mind to focus and the heart to meditate on the truths of God’s Word. So this autumn, while we all marvel at the beauty of the changing season, I wish for you a prayer window, a place to engage your mind and heart as you meditate on that which is eternal and life giving for all seasons of life.