Glen comes home to find me, face-down on the sofa.
The house looks like we’ve been burgled. The kids are hollering and trying to find a comfortable sitting position on my spine.
‘How was your day?‘ I mumble into a cushion.
‘Yeah, fine. Couple of meetings. Finishing scripts for new Christmas videos. Skyped someone in the States. Wrote my talks for the conference and sent off a manuscript. Sent off the funding applications and did a session on Trinity with the interns. How about you? What did you get up to?’
I rack my brains as tiny fingers push play dough into my ears.
‘Er – .’
Tried to stop my son from climbing into the washing machine/scaling the fridge/eating cat treats/ taking off his nappy/pushing his fingers into sockets/pulling cat’s tail/dropping plastic cutlery down the toilet. Pretended to be a bin lorry/bin man. Drafted half an email. Forms for school. Texts to friend. Shopping. Ironing. Listened to a psalm. Cooked lunch (which son threw on floor). Made truck noises. Scraped unidentifiable foodstuff from floor. Replied to message from daughter’s school saying she’d had a minor accident, (nose bleed. Cause: aggressive picking). Cooked dinner. Wheeled out recycling bins (making bin lady noises).
Didn’t march for world peace. Didn’t write a novel. Didn’t set up my own business.
Didn’t sort out the filing cabinet. Didn’t return the library books. Didn’t break the internet, (except for unplugging the router by mistake). Didn’t take the kids to Disneyland or overcome a major illness. Didn’t run a marathon (or even run). Didn’t see the Northern lights.
‘You can’t have done nothing.’
Cared for a little person who can’t care for themselves
Ironing: subdued a little piece of the earth (including some very stubborn wrinkles)
Created a home.
Listened to words of life that fed my spirit and my soul.
Made a chip in some important admin.
Invested in my daughter’s education
Foraged (well – shopped for) my loved ones, (including sausages, which picked up a daughter who was overtired after school)
Encouraged someone who is struggling.
Walked all day with the living God
Helped my husband to go and share the gospel
Oscar-winning portrayal of a bin lorry
At this stage in my life, I’m home-based, with small children. Sometimes it’s wonderful and sometimes it’s hard. But whatever my brain tells me, it’s not nothing.
How about you?
Maybe you’re a student, cramming for exams. Maybe you’re in a retirement home; or busy commuter. Maybe you’re at the peak of your powers and achieving all you ever dreamed of. Maybe you’re struggling; with sickness or grief. Maybe you feel like today’s been a success. Maybe you didn’t leave your bed.
Think of someone like Dorcas in Acts 9. She didn’t write a best-selling novel or plant a church or perform in front of a stadium of people. We don’t know if she was married or single; attractive or plain. We know one thing about her: that she quietly served others. And her acts of kindness will never be forgotten.
Whatever you’ve been doing, it’s not nothing. And with the eyes of faith, the most mundane tasks are achieving a weight of glory.