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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Expert (09/05/13)

TITLE: No Rest in the Restroom!
By Chris Goglin


ďOh boy, another toilet to clean...will it ever end?Ē I thought to myself as I continued my task of cleaning the public bathrooms at the local manufacturing plant.

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, Iím 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 Phyllisís house, I eliminated excess dust that interfered with her husbandís lung cancer management. During his last week of life, he went off all medications and could finally eat whatever he wanted. Iíll 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 churchís 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 Godís full potential in my life. It is worth being an expert at some things, even if it seems degrading and embarrassing. After all, Iím sure Jesus did not relish the thought of washing the dirt from the discipleís feet, but did it in love and knew it was necessary.

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This article has been read 243 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judith Gayle Smith09/13/13
This is wonderful! Amen and amen to your sentiments. btw, do you hire out? To Portland?

I appreciate your heart and attitude . . .
Noel Mitaxa 09/14/13
I like how you brought us from the mess caused by your clients to the clients themselves and the positive effects you have had on them. And how you have seen all this as a ministry. Well done.
Virgil Youngblood 09/14/13
Several weeks ago I heard about a study that said the initial impression visitors and newcomers have of a church is based on the attractiveness of their restrooms. Your work is valuable, for all the reasons you mentioned,and more. Thanks for sharing a message that challenges each of us to be faithful in all things.
Bea Edwards 09/15/13
Hmmm I had a small cleaning business (just me) years ago and can empathize with all you said. Even having a perspective shift as I was able to show Jesus' love to several of my elderly clients.
If I have onerous chores to do it helps to think about Brother
Lawrence in the classic 'Practicing the Presence of God'and his description of doing dishes to the glory of God.
Bloom where we are planted -right?
C D Swanson 09/15/13
Without cleaning services, we would be all be? Excellent job and so well written, I simply marvelled at this entry and the myriad of emotions that it elicited within my soul.

Thanks! I loved it.

God bless~
C D Swanson 09/15/13

Without cleaning services, where would we all be?

Excellent job and so well written!! I simply marvelled at this entry and the myriad of emotions that it elicited within my soul.

Thanks! I loved it.

God bless~
Amelia Brown 09/15/13
You have succeeded in revealing an unpopular side of what it means to be an expert. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/18/13
Your opening line pulled me right in. I find bathrooms intriguing and you didn't disappoint. The only thing I might suggest would be a smoother transition from cleaning toilets to apple pie. You do transition it some, but it felt a bit sudden. Maybe something like when on my knees scrubbing toilets, I wondered if I was doing any good.Scenes flashed through my eyes...
I don't know that that would be any better than what you wrote, but the transition did cause me to stumble just a tiny bit. It could just be me, but I hope by sharing my thoughts it will help you transition from a great writer to an outstanding one. You really are almost there. You have a way of pulling the reader into your world while delivering a great message. I'm eager to read more of your work.
Danielle King 09/18/13
Seeing as you are the expert loo lady, I'd like to know why it is that men always miss the pot?

I like this entry for its originality and the way you see the MC as being used by God through this type of work. Bloom where you are planted fits perfectly. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/20/13
Congratulations on ranking 2nd in your level and 16th overall! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)