The Day My Sink Actually Ranneth Over
Updated: May 14
I often claim that the altar where I worship the Lord best is my kitchen sink. Not really joking.
Prayers rise with the steam and bubbles of blue Dawn. Tears mingle with swirls of bacon grease. Worries are released down the drain with swollen Cheerios. I roll up my sleeves and scrape the pans, settling into a position so familiar that my toes automatically find the worn indentations in the rug. The shine on the granite counter is dulled from constant contact with water. This is where I meet the Lord after mealtimes.
This is my altar, where water flows over stone, washing away remnants of charred meat, reminders of humanity.
It is a holy place.
But one day a couple weeks ago, my altar collapsed. Literally.
Have you ever closed the door to the bathroom knowing a little voice will call for you the moment it detects the click of the latch?
When that voice inevitably calls, does the muffled high octave make it sound like they said “Mom, the kitchen sink just fell!”
I shook my head to clear it and asked the voice to repeat itself. It sounded the same. Glancing at the shower with a moment of longing, I sighed, and pulled myself back together to go investigate.
Indeed. The falsetto messenger wasn’t just lonely when I closed the door. He spoke truth.
My kitchen sink was askew, a foot lower than it had been moments before. Swollen Cheerios and milk dripped onto the cleaning supplies stored haplessly below. A cluster of my pajama-clad offspring stood in a solemn semi-circle in front of it.
The sink was indeed broken.
Give a eulogy? Call a plumber? Tell the little citizens to return to their lives while I went to attempt to take a shower again like nothing happened?
In a culture that increasingly eschews motherhood as an inconvenience, a weakness, a function of the state, some of us tend to brace too vehemently as we lean toward the opposite. We get hardened by the gasping stranger that inevitably greets us at the door of the grocery store, “Are these all yours?” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard “You have your hands full” in a single outing, I could probably feed my large brood from the cash flow. I’ve discussed birth control with invasive strangers. I’ve defended my right to populate the earth to millennials who think I’m destroying it. After a while, we grow defiant as mothers. We grow brazen. We take to wearing our mother status proudly as we parade down aisles with all our ducklings lined up behind. We drive our double digit passenger vehicles alongside a two door hybrid at a red light and look down our noses at the genX-er sitting alone in the little driver’s seat. Clearly they don’t appreciate how Biblical we child bearers are in our most high and holy calling.
I admit it. I’ve been there.
The tug of war juxtaposition to honor motherhood is just as unhealthy as the cultural inclination to debase it. The danger is in the church to vault it, in the Christian home to pedestal it, in social media to champion it.
It is not only dangerous, it’s idolatrous. We claim righteousness based on I Timothy 2:15, thinking that the “She will be saved in childbearing” clause somehow overshadows Jesus work on the cross. No, mama. No!
We set ourselves up in the place of the majesty who holds the atoms of the universe together. I may be a good mom, sometimes, but I am terrible at being God.
God is quite willing to destroy the once-holy altar if it becomes the object of worship rather than the channel for it.
He allowed the Philistines to capture the Ark of the covenant a few hundred years after its consecration. He allowed Babylon to destroy Solomon’s temple in 586 BC. He allowed the Romans to burn the next in 70 AD.
If I vault motherhood to the level of deity, God is certainly capable of removing my kitchen sink to refocus my worship on He who cannot be moved.
Motherhood is my reasonable service, Romans 12:1. And I hope someday to lay it at His feet as a sacrifice of praise. Neither exemplary nor glorified, the blood, sweat and sleepless nights are simply a humble requirement of my life.
Motherhood is not my highest calling.
It is not.
Motherhood is merely a puzzle piece of my personal obedience. It is a brushstroke in the work of art that is total, lifelong devotion. Yes, it currently looms large, ostentatiously demanding, in my sight. It seems consuming. But twenty years in my past, this season did not - and twenty years in the future, this season will not - have the vice grip of the present. My call and purpose remain constant, whether I juggle a 9-5 cubicle job with a commute, or a 24/7 on-call commitment with yesterday’s yoga pants. Worship the Lord and serve Him only. Always. Cubicle or kitchen. Social media or silence. With all my ducks in a row or scattered. Christ preeminent.
The next day, my patient husband jacked the sink up, glued it back under the granite, and asked me to refrain from soaking lasagna pans and leftover pasta pots until evening. I acquiesced, though it means I can’t let them stack up to await after dinner prayer sessions anymore. That’s ok. I can still pray in the shower.
Hope I’ll have learned my lesson before God needs to collapse that!
I’m going to need a new blog name.