The Cleaning Lady

The auditorium was filled with clusters of balloons—cheerfully bobbing bursts of colour. A band was playing, and people clapped and swayed to the toe-tapping beat. Some were dancing. The atmosphere was one of celebration.

This was no ordinary party, however. This was a funeral. Yes, you read that correctly. A funeral. Before her death, the deceased had requested that, instead of a sombre time of mourning, the church hold a celebration service. After all, this woman was about to enter the throne room of God and see Him face-to-face. There is nothing more exciting than that!

The woman’s name was Carol. Carol seemed a little odd to most people. I think the correct word is “simple”. As I recall, she lived alone. She didn’t have a job. She survived off her disability cheques. But she loved Jesus and had a heart of gold.

Week after week, Carol would take the bus to the church when no one was around. She would vacuum and scrub and clean. By the time the weekend services rolled around, the church would positively sparkle.

Carol defined servant-hood.

Although I didn’t know her well, she had a huge impact on my life. Carol taught me that the call of God isn’t always to preach or teach. It doesn’t always involve being in the limelight. Sometimes, the most powerful people are those who serve quietly in the background.

Carol touched lives. No one will ever be able to forget her. Though she merely cleaned the church, she left an incredible legacy behind.

For every preacher, teacher, prophet, or evangelist to function effectively, dozens (sometimes hundreds) of people are required to work behind the scenes. There are those who photocopy and fold bulletins. There are those who greet and seat people. There are those who watch the children. There are those who operate the sound and lighting equipment. There are those who gather to pray. And there are those who, like Carol, vacuum and scrub and clean when no one else is around.

Each of these people is just as instrumental in changing lives as the person in the spotlight.

Don’t ever despise your calling. In God’s eyes, there are no small acts of servant-hood. Whatever you are called to do, He simply asks that you do it with a spirit of excellence and a pure heart. Our cry should be, “Lord, however small they may seem, let the things that I do cause people to draw closer to You.”

When this is your cry, you too will leave an incredible legacy behind. Because it’s not about whether people see your face. It’s about whether God is pleased with your heart.

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