Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Sermon from a Cleaning Lady
I had an inspiring conversation with my friend Carol B. last Sunday. She’s the kitchen maven at
, and I had the happy assignment of helping her get the stuff together for Bagel Sunday. I missed the sermon (very sad, especially at the beginning of the New Year) but sometimes the Great One has another kind of sermon in mind for us. So we roll. We adjust. We remain flexible… DFG Church
Anyway, Carol has more energy than a dozen Kentucky Derby winners straining out of the gate, and exhibits a completely unique charisma – totally real, no hypocrisy, plain folk. Cutting bagels for her wound up being a rich experience. Her stories and passions filled me with delight, and I did not cut my hand. That, my friends, is truly miraculous.
Carol has some heavy duty boulders on her pilgrim road. The obstacles that make up the landscape of her life are daunting. She makes a living as a house cleaner. She has no paid sick days, no vacation days, no company sponsored IRA or benefits. She is responsible for the economics of her household. Without spilling all the beans on her personal affairs, suffice it to say she’s up to her neck troubles. But her faith is as brick like as her determination. She’s my fellow pilgrim, and I’m mighty glad.
Now here’s the sermon her life spoke to me on Sunday. She was describing these cleaning cloths she uses. “Microfiber – the only way to go!” says she, with her typical vigor. She went on to share with me and another traveler how fabulous this product is to clean just about anything. She whipped one out from the kitchen drawer, and showed us the different benefits of both sides of the cloth, and how to wipe with them. She smiled broadly when she remembered she had picked some up for a gentleman in church, and he found them useful. She described how much she likes getting her clients’ bathrooms spotless, and how fussy she is to make sure they are 110% satisfied. She was delighted to let us know these gizmos could be purchased at Family Dollar for a great price.
Now how was this a sermon to me? First of all, it lead me to examine my own life, and repent of my lack of zeal to do my jobs, any of them, with complete excellence. Secondly, it inspired me to want to truly follow the scripture, of which Carol is a living example :”whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might”. Third, in light of her difficult circumstances, it reminded me of what gems we walk around with every day - people overcoming their pains and giving glory to God in the simple acts of daily life. My friend made me see Jesus in her joy. That’s a perfect sermon. That’s the kind of “living epistle” I long to be.
It’s a new year. You will have troubles. Accept it. Make the troubles your spiritual work out in becoming all the Great One wants you to be. Go to the gym that really matters long after your body is a done deal. Trust in Him while you do the work required of you. Find joy in your labors, whatever they are. And when you are weary, “cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” How I love preaching to myself!
As for Carol, she’s way, way more than a cleaning lady. I’m sure you have people like her in your life. Listen to them. Bless them. Enjoy them. Pray for them.
Pick up your cross, and your mop, pencil, hammer, phone, or whatever, and follow HIM!
Your friend on the pilgrim road,
PS I added DFG as a link on the side bar. Also, I’m hearing it is very hard to post comments to this site. I’m going to speak to my tech angel, Peter the Great, and see if it can be fixed. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org