I’m washing my kitchen floor, down on hands and knees, submitting to the chore. Posture of prayer, I think. I think it, but in a bitter kind of way. I wash away a sticky mess of something spilled, syrup from the early pancakes, maybe? I scrub off dirt and a squashed bug and some dried oatmeal, and another spot that might be blood, and the job gets under my skin and into my heart.

I begin, annoyed. How does it all get so dirty, so fast? Do we live in a barn? Why do I bother, it’ll just be a mess again tomorrow. And no one will notice, anyway.

Moving across the floor, rag and bucket and growing ache in my back, and all the dirty bits of our lives are enhanced, like viewing the bottom of a swamp through a microscope. The cruddy globs of hair and dust, stuck to the bottoms of the table and chair legs, and the toast crumbs in the corners. The splashes of kitchen spit on the baseboard, unseen from the lofty height of my normal two-legged position.

I make the humble pilgrimage around the kitchen floor, bent to the task, and it’s a cleansing prayer. A journey of renewal, from bitterness to thankfulness.

For who has such a clean floor as this, in such a sweet kitchen, full of such precious people, on such a bit of glory land, as I?

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