This morning as we finished up our workout, my friend Jessica asked me a somewhat out-of-the-blue question: "What time in the evening would it mean the most for me to pray for you?"
I don't have much of a poker face, so I am pretty sure I said "Huh?" with my expression.
Jessica went on to explain that she was going to start setting a timer on her phone to pray for me in the evening. She wanted to know what time it would mean the most to me to look at the clock and know she was specifically praying for me. (The answer, honestly, was that any time between 5:30-8:30pm would not be wasted prayer for this patience-challenged woman :-)
I was so grateful for her compassionate offer, especially considering she is a busy working wife and Mama. Her explanation, however, was what really struck me. "I've been thinking," she said, "it's so much easier to do someone else's dishes than it is to wash your own."
I chuckled at the truth of her observation. After a dinner with friends or family, I am enthusiastic about cleaning the dishes and restoring order in someone else's kitchen. Yet, even as I type this there are dishes in my own sink that I am avoiding like a plague.
Jessica's point was that in the midst of her own busy evenings with kids it was easier for her to pause to pray for her friends than for herself...and yet, the feeling of peace and perspective she gained while doing so positively impacted her own home.
I thought about her comments several times during the afternoon. How true it is that when I am drowning in self pity and frustration, one of the healthiest things I can do is take a break from my self focus long enough to think of others' needs.
And tonight when I got her text at 6:36pm it warmed my heart. It was only 12 words, that probably took her mere seconds to send, but the impact was tremendous. I was reminded that I am not alone in this motherhood gig. I exhaled. I smiled and I prayed for her too.
I think this is the intention of Galatians 6:2 "Carry each other's burdens" (or wash each other's dishes, if you will) "and so fulfill the law of Christ."