About two months ago, it came to my attention that there was no one cleaning the church offices besides our church staff. We don’t have a church building – we meet in the local high school – so there’s no need to have anyone cleaning the actual church building. But we have a set of offices and the church staff was charged with doing their own toilet scrubbing. Now, I don’t know about you, but that just doesn’t seem right to me. And it didn’t seem right to another woman in the church, either. So we set up a schedule and now we’re scrubbing the toilets instead.
It’s a pretty wide rotation, currently. Every two weeks, one or the other of us goes in. Last week was my week on the rotation. She did it two weeks before that and she’ll do it again the Friday after next. I’m waiting to hear back whether we should clean more frequently than that, but so far, it seems to be working.
The head pastor is really excited that we’re doing it. He came in on my first Friday (Friday and Saturday counts as the weekend for the church staff, since they work on Sunday) and told me that he was so thankful for the work. And he said so again that Sunday when I ran into him after church.
I’m glad that he’s happy about it. But his appreciation isn’t why I’m doing it.
The reason I’m doing it is because it needed to be done. There was a need and no one was filling it, so the two of us stepped up and we’re taking care of that need.
But also because it should keep me humble. I’m starting to get recognized at church because I sing with the band sometimes. Even when I’m not singing that week, people still come up to me and mention it and tell me that I sound good. It’s easy for that to go to my head. But it’s a gift that I’ve been given (cultivated by my mom (thank you, Mom!)) – my ability to sing and harmonize with a group and feel comfortable enough to stand on stage and share it with other people.
But I’ve also been given a talent for cleaning and organizing. And if getting on my knees to clean the toilets at the church office doesn’t remind me of how important it is to do the behind-the-scenes dirty jobs that no one wants to do, then I don’t know what will. If I can get the same sense of service while I’m singing as I can while I’m cleaning, then I’ll know that I’m not doing it to get the praise of people watching.
I cleaned the offices on Friday for four and a half hours. It was hard, dirty work, but that place sparkled when I left and it felt wonderful. I was tired and sweaty and I smelled like dumpster, but I left a bouquet of flowers in the conference room and a clean coffeepot in the kitchen. And how can I not feel happy about that?