I never knew her name. I don’t know what she was thinking as she got ready for work that morning. I don’t know what joy or sorrow she left behind her front door as she set off for her job. I don’t know how far she had to travel or if she was weary or strong as she moved along.
I do know some of what lay in front of her as she stepped into the skilled nursing facility where she would spend her day. She would mop the floors, gather up soiled towels, empty trash receptacles, and collect and remove used dishes. She would probably face other assigned cleaning details I know nothing about. She was the young cleaning lady who went from room to room cleaning up other’s messes. She was also one who looked on many individuals in distressing situations. She looked and she saw.
Some patients were unresponsive. Some were there for a short stay and others would be there for the rest of their lives. All were in need. One woman in her 90s was there for a specific issue to be cleared up. She was more than a little confused at being moved from her assisted living. She did not understand the routine or how to get help one night as she took a tumble trying to get out of an unknown bed. She was fine but still in the dark and a bit anxious about much in this unfamiliar situation.
And then one day this cleaning lady came in. She attended to her job and greeted the elderly woman warmly. Then as she left, she raised the cheer level in one life tremendously. The young cleaning lady saw an opportunity and took it. As she left the room she said three simple words. She said, “God bless you!” This comment stuck with the needy patient, gave her hope, and made a huge difference in her outlook. I know because when I went to visit that day she told me. She was my mother.
Today I am challenged to think of the opportunities that lie before me. The first opportunities are right inside my own front door. There will be others when I answer the phone, go to the store or respond to an email. Then there are the thoughts I entertain. Certainly in my thoughts and in my heart there are many opportunities to think as Jesus did about others. His words will come from me then, as those of the cleaning lady did to Mother. For out of the heart the mouth speaks.
Being, praying, and doing exactly where I am— these are all opportunities God has appointed for me today. I don’t have to travel abroad or have a big platform from which to speak. I don’t need “a challenge” to do great things. I can take advantage of the opportunities to really see people here and now, people with their needs (we all have them) and to let God bless them as I accept the privilege of letting Him use me. Right where I am.
That dear young cleaning lady never knew how she blessed Mother and gave her hope. We never saw her again. She never knew how God worked through her to bless me as she blessed Mother. But God knew. What an amazing and beautiful thing it is to use our opportunities to love others for His sake and by His empowerment. How beautiful is the Body of Christ!
God bless you!
I was blessed recently by listening to Twila Paris sing How Beautiful Is The Body of Christ. May you be blessed also: https://youtu.be/kJM0hFvz_64