I placed the dirty dish in the sink. Once filled with strawberry rhubarb crisp, all that remained were little bits of strawberry stuck to the bottom of the rectangular pan. I watched as the hot water hit the blue dishwashing liquid. Suds formed. The water piled on top of itself and rose higher. The pan had dried out, the sticky bits impossible to remove without some lubrication.
I busied myself with other matters – like breakfast – and then returned.
I picked up the scrubber and attacked the messy pan. The fruit lifted off with ease. The crusty bits in the corners took a bit more elbow grease, but it all came off. I rinsed out the now-clean baking dish and let it drip dry. The pan needed time to simply be. See, the pan didn’t do anything. It sat there, holding the water, letting the warmth and the wet do its thing. I knew me rubbing away at it, mindlessly rub-a-dubbing, wouldn’t do any good. All my best efforts couldn’t move things along any quicker.
I thought about how I need to soak sometimes. I get all gummed up in the politics of my job, personal relationships that have a bit of crust on them, sticky misunderstandings that tend to linger. I need the Holy Spirit. I need to bathe in worship. I need time alone with the Savior. I need to read something not in the minor prophets. Most of the time. Yes, sometimes I have work to do. I need to apologize for bad behavior. I must make amends. But I can’t cleanse the stains and residue away. Only He can do that. And the good news is, He will.