It is late January. The sun had gone down 4 hours ago and the night air is right at freezing temperature. I am standing on a ladder outside a fast-food restaurant 40 miles from my home. The long winding trip through the mountains that head home seem like a welcome thought as I try to stay warm.
I am a window cleaner. The small business that I manage during the day does not pay enough to compensate our family of six ... so I clean windows...so we can eat.
As I stand on the ladder wiping a large window, I notice some children watching me. Children are fascinated with window cleaning, some of them wanting to grow up to be window cleaners. Yet I can see their Daddy talking to them. He's probably telling them that when they grow up, they can go to college and get a GOOD job, not just a job cleaning windows.
So I continue to clean, wishing I could talk to them. Don't they understand? I did go to college. I got my degree and even took graduate level courses. I taught at a college for a semester. Don't they know? I was a Youth Pastor for 10 years... I had 2 radio programs... I spoke at camps and conferences in front of hundreds of people. I'm not just an uneducated window cleaner.
As my equipment begins to stick to the window because it's frozen, I wonder... Why am I doing this?
I continue to clean. As the night gets later, the temperature around me drops. I pull the hood of my coat over my head to keep my ears warm. Half way around the restaurant I notice a young couple eating. I can see they are college students...this is probably a date for them.
They are watching me clean and they are talking. I wonder what the young girl is thinking. She's probably hoping that someday she'll marry a man that doesn't have to toil as a mere "window cleaner". She'll marry a man who really makes something of his life.
She doesn't understand. I'm not who she thinks I am. Doesn't she know? Doesn't she know I've traveled to 9 foreign countries as a musician... even performed on 3 television shows. Doesn't she know I have written magazine articles that have been published in 2 national magazines? Would she believe that I'm the man who began a youth conference that continues to reach hundreds of students each year?
And I wonder. God, why must I clean windows instead of using my gifts and talents that you gave me? God, why must my body be put through this cold struggle when I know I could be a good youth pastor, speaker, leader, writer? Are you punishing me God? Why, God, why?
Then the tears well up, as the answer settles into my spirit... IT'S BECAUSE OF THE CROSS...IT'S BECAUSE OF THE CROSS. Not a punishment, not a lack of skills... but because of the cross. And I continue to clean, ...hoping that my tears don't freeze in the night air.
by Randalf TheGrey
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