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Where's My Blessing?

December 26, 2022

I’m sitting here and across my social media newsfeed comes a picture of men of God, standing on a street corner preaching, using a battery-powered microphone. The battery is in a bag slung over one shoulder. They are IN THE RAIN USING A BORROWED UMBRELLA. In a country where most claim no belief or Buddhism, they are viewed as a curiosity.
They reminded me of a couple of women who taught me a valuable lesson. One was the person who got the church key the week after I did. It was for the church cleaning rotation. I was in my early 20s and felt like my time could be so much better spent elsewhere. After all, these people didn’t seem to appreciate the effort anyone made. But THIS dear sister—she shouldn’t have even been on the list! Her young adult kids weren’t interested in church and her husband wasn’t going to be able to help with his work schedule. So, out of guilt, I worked harder to make her week less strenuous.
EVERY TIME I would arrive at church the Sunday after cleaning, wondering who was going to find something wrong, SHE would greet me with the biggest smile and ask, “Where’s my blessing?” The first few times, I was confused by the question, until I realized that she was asking for the church key. It was her turn to scrub toilets, chase spider webs, pick up discarded cough drop wrappers, and dust pews. Her blessing was having a way to serve. In a place where others saw drudgery, she found an opportunity to serve Jesus.

About 20 years later, I would find myself in a fellowship hall. I was worn out! It was me and a handful of other ladies who were at least 20 years older than me. I raced back and forth trying to get the heavy lifting done before one of them hurt themselves. They laughed and joked and sang songs as they worked, and I sweated. If I hadn’t been so busy, I might have wondered where the other young ladies were. Finally, after everything was nearly done, a woman, bent over with arthritis and shuffling along with a walker, flagged me down. I leaned in to hear her softly ask, “Sister Wanda, is there anything I can do?” “Oh, no!” I replied. “We are just finishing up! Have a seat and let me bring you a cup of coffee.” I noticed the light seemed to go out of her face in disappointment. “Wait! I do know one thing!” She perked up. “Could you check and be sure there are enough paper products in the ladies’ room? I cleaned already but want to be sure we have enough spare toilet paper and paper towels. I’ll bring more if there isn’t.”
She smiled brightly and headed off to the restroom. She was in there for a while, and I started to go check on her when I saw her coming back in my direction.
“Was everything okay?” I asked.
“Oh, yes! While I was there, I wiped everything down again just for good measure.”
I hadn’t meant for her to do that and can only imagine how she reached the surfaces while balanced on a walker, but she was beaming with happiness over the chance to be part of a church workday.

You know what? If I could tell my younger self something it would be this: I don’t know if you are cleaning toilets for Jesus or standing in the rain in a place where so many just pass you by. That place others avoid because it’s so menial, so small, so easily overlooked . . . Please know that the place you serve, where no one else finds value, Jesus sees you and you are on HOLY GROUND.

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