Today I came across Tish Harrison Warren's essay "Courage in the Ordinary," and her words spoke right into the beautiful chaos of my Nashville split-level. Amidst my freelance hours on the laptop, getting up to comfort a toddler, spooning yogurt and blueberries, wiping his nose, putting him down for a nap, going back to my laptop, talking to my husband, washing a dish, answering an email, I read this:
"A prominent New Monasticism community house had a sign on the wall that famously read 'Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.' My life is really rich in dirty dishes (and diapers) these days and really short in revolutions ... But I’ve come to the point where I’m not sure anymore just what God counts as radical ... this is what I need now: the courage to face an ordinary day — an afternoon with a colicky baby where I’m probably going to snap at my two-year old and get annoyed with my noisy neighbor — without despair, the bravery it takes to believe that a small life is still a meaningful life, and the grace to know that even when I’ve done nothing that is powerful or bold or even interesting that the Lord notices me and is fond of me.
"Whether in Mongolia or Tennessee, the kind of 'giving my life away' that counts starts with how I get up on a gray Tuesday morning. It never sells books. It won’t be remembered. But it’s what makes a life. And who knows? Maybe, at the end of days, a hurried prayer for an enemy, a passing kindness to a neighbor, or budget planning on a boring Thursday will be the revolution stories of God making all things new."
~words and image by Shanna Mallon