Pits Aisle – a bustling sacred space

In the kitchen of a 17th-century monastery where he was assigned to work, Brother Lawrence discovered how to experience solace and contentment and joy, day after day after day.

But only after many days of unrest and discontent and unhappiness. After all, dirty dishes are not the stuff of prestige and power.

But over time, he grew into a richly deep faith – while surrounded by pots and pans and dishes – wherein he did his “common business” wholly and only for the love of God.

If only we could all live like that. If only we could all be contentedly joyful, whether in a 17th-century monastery kitchen or a 21st-century camp kitchen where the task of washing up after 500 people happens three times a day, each day, every day, day after day after day.

That’s a lot of knives, forks, and spoons. That’s a lot of serving platters. That’s a lot of pots and pans. That’s a lot of bacon grease.

Even so, there are a lot of smiles coming out of Pits Aisle (which, with all its back-and-forth traffic is more like an alley or lane), all day, every day, day after day after day, where the dishwashing crew (aka the Pits Crew) works in a narrow space under heavy heat and high expectations.

Pits AlleyPits AlleyPits Alley

These teenagers gave up a month of their summer, with no pay, so that they could wash dishes. And pots. And pans. And more. For a thousand or so people who will never know their names or sing their praises.

And why? Because the job has to get done. Because Jesus lets us be his hands and feet. Because the common business of life is the soil of faithful living and humble service.

More simply:

  • Because they want to. (True story.)
  • Because they can. (Awesome privilege.)
  • Because they follow a loving Lord. (Wild journey.)

What other reason do they need? What other reason do we?

6 thoughts on “Pits Aisle – a bustling sacred space

  1. Kristin from Castaway work crew and Sturgis July 18, 2013 / 1:47 am


    • ckirgiss July 18, 2013 / 10:59 am

      That smiley face, times a thousand.

  2. Matt Wallace July 18, 2013 / 1:54 am

    My dad always volunteered to do pits when he would visit events.

  3. ckirgiss July 18, 2013 / 10:58 am

    Somehow this doesn’t surprise me. For all of its unrecognized glory and honor, the pits is usually a place of deep friendships and meaningful reflection. Funny how that works.

  4. Jen Booher July 25, 2013 / 8:38 pm

    thank you- my daughter was in the pits-she is truly inspiring to her whole family

    • ckirgiss July 25, 2013 / 9:20 pm

      Thanks for sharing your daughter with so many people at camp. Her behind-the-scenes job kept the whole show running smoothly. Tell her “THANK YOU” from me. -Crystal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s