Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Expert (09/05/13)
TITLE: No Rest in the Restroom!
By Chris Goglin
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My husband and I operate a cleaning business in our local neighborhood. Since he endorses my superior cleaning expertise, I always end up cleaning the dreaded bathrooms! Now, I’m not sure I want that specific privilege, as wiping up offensive body waste is not my idea of a fun day. I guess I am somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to disinfecting the toilets, sinks, doorknobs, and floors. There is just a certain way of doing things that makes me an authority at what I do.
I suppose all of us have talents that we are proud of, but do I want to be known for heading up the bathroom bucket brigade? It is rare to receive a compliment from anyone on doing a good job of scrubbing the base of the toilet, disinfecting a grimy shower stall, or wiping down dusty baseboards. I just do it because it needs to be done.
After several years of basically doing the same thing, I wondered if it was all worth it. I certainly was not paid as well as expected, and it definitely takes a toll on my aging body. As I thought about my customer experiences, I realized the good that can come out of doing something unpleasant, yet necessary.
While cleaning Phyllis’s house, I eliminated excess dust that interfered with her husband’s lung cancer management. During his last week of life, he went off all medications and could finally eat whatever he wanted. I’ll never forget his face, when I brought him one of my homemade apple pies, which he abruptly sampled. This heart-wrenching experience gave me a rare understanding of the death process and how loving couples deal with it.
Strong friendships developed between two lonely widows who really needed someone to talk to. They reminisced about their international travels, fascinating spouses and children. Not only did I receive a geography lesson, but yearned to write about their unique adventures. Another customer surprised me with a giant pink-stuffed caterpillar for my new grand-daughter she would probably never meet. Others suffering from muscular disorders needed me to pull them up from their chairs, help with medical treatments, or simply serve them lunch. Sharing my faith came naturally as there was always a need for assistance and understanding. I invited clients to my church’s Christmas concert, exposing them to the word of God through music. My paycheck from a commercial customer enables me to support my son and his family on a new mission field in Peru.
The more I think about my unpopular cleaning duties, the more I realize God’s full potential in my life. It is worth being an expert at some things, even if it seems degrading and embarrassing. After all, I’m sure Jesus did not relish the thought of washing the dirt from the disciple’s feet, but did it in love and knew it was necessary.
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