Through the ages Carmel has held many attractions not only for those called to dwell within this enclosed garden, but also for those touched by this particular way of life. For some it is the solitude, for others the silence. For still others the emphasis on the soul’s espousal to God has captured their hearts. But we have recently discovered that there is yet another aspect that has touched hearts.
You see, we have discovered that the best way for us to dry the large amount of dishes that we wash at each meal is to use white, terry cloth gloves. Slip them on and your entire hand becomes a drying towel. It saves time and even eliminates broken dishes. (Well, at least it decreases the casualties of glasses.)
The attraction spans all age ranges, all states in life, and all skills and abilities. We have had countless siblings, nephews, and nieces join us drying dishes. Armed with aprons and stepping stools, they eagerly donned the novel gloves and chores became a game.
On deeper reflection, maybe it really isn’t the gloves. Maybe it is the simple task of joining others in service. The gloves just provide a welcome introduction. For the child it is a participation in the work and life of their elders. For the adult it is a simple, almost childlike task. For all it is a peaceful exercise in giving to others.
There is no magic and we don’t wash our dishes in holy water. (Although I wonder if that would eliminate the breakage!) Whatever the hidden grace for the soul, these little drying gloves seem to be God’s instrument. But isn’t that always the case? His graces always really do fit like a glove.
Excuse me, I think I hear the dishes calling…