Currently, my fridge is full of dirty dishes.
I bet you didn’t expect that opening sentence. To be fair, I never expected to write a sentence like that, so I guess we’re on equal ground here.
The last forty minutes were a scramble as I piled semi-dirty clothes into my laundry hamper, gathered empty water jugs, took out my trash, packed an overnight bag, and put Christmas presents into a gift bag. This is a refrain that plays itself out every few weeks when I have the opportunity to go back home to Ohio.
I’m going to be gone for four nights, so I also grabbed the already-made-food I had in my fridge and added that to the loads I carried out to the car. There were only a few dishes – two small pans (which I sometimes keep food in), a lid, a spoon, and two storage containers, and a bowl. Of course, I don’t want those things cluttering up my sink while I’m gone, but living in a camper has made me think outside the box.
Washing dishes is no longer a second-nature, automatic part of living. I have no running water. I can’t let the water I haul in go down the drain. And the water I do have access to is freezing cold since it sits by my door in all types of weather.
Therefore, washing dishes is somewhat of a process as I get water from the five-gallon buckets that my neighbors kindly fill up, heat it up in my electric kettle, then add cold water and soap to my little tub sink. Because of that, I let my dishes pile up (aka wait until there are about fifteen items, which is a couple days worth of dishes), before I wash them.
This morning I had enough other things I wanted to accomplish before I went to work that I went with the little hack of simply keeping the dishes in the fridge instead of taking the time to clean them. (Yes, you may judge me if you want.)
The reality is though that I do have clean water available to me. I could have taken the time to heat my water up and wash my dishes. If I really wanted, I could even move out of my camper during the winter because it is more work living here during the cold months.
And that makes me stop and think of the people who don’t have options. To those who live in refugee camps around the world. To the homeless here in my own country. To people who live in villages without wells.
Sure, I might run out of freshwater and have to carry a jug to work with me to fill it up or run to the store to buy a gallon, but I have a never-ending supply of water, even though it might be inconvenient to tap into it at times. There are people all over the world without this blessing. Who walk for eight hours a day simply to get enough water to survive – and that’s not an exaggeration. A few years back I went to a village in Ghana, West Africa where that was the case.
Today I’m challenging you not only to be thankful for the blessings you have – like clean water – but to also do something for someone who doesn’t have those blessings. There are so many easy, but incredibly helpful ways you can help, like praying, donating money, and being a voice.
You, my friend, can make a difference.
Check out World Vision if you want a practical way to get started with helping. Seriously, even five or ten dollars can make an impact in someone’s life.