If you give a mom a washcloth she will wash the toddler’s face. After she washes the toddler’s face she will notice the mess he left at the table and she will wash that too. As she turns around she will notice all the crumbs on the counter so she will give the counter a wipe down. As she rinses out the cloth, she will notice the faucet needs to be polished, so she will do that also. Just when she thinks she can hang up her washcloth, out of the corner of her eye she sees the messy stove top. As soon as finishes that, she turns around and sees…a toddler with a messy face!
If any of you have ever had mothers, been mothers, or know any mothers, you have probably experienced the truth of this little story. I know I do it all the time and I quietly giggle to myself when I visit my friends and watch them go through this routine.
For some reason it seems that it is mostly mothers who can see all the little messes and crumb topped counters. That’s okay though, because if Jesus has called us to raise children, our washcloths become tools of our ministry. We are not always called to foreign mission fields or even ministry out in the public. Sometimes the most difficult place we can serve is in our own homes. In the past, I know my attitude was not always the best as I was washing the table for what seemed like the fourteenth time that day.
I think Oswald Chambers expressed what I am trying to say perfectly in his book, ‘My Utmost For His Highest:’ “The things that Jesus did were of the most menial and commonplace order, and this is an indication that it takes all God’s power in me to do the most commonplace things in His way. Can I take a towel as He did? Towels and dishes and sandals, all the ordinary sordid things of our lives, reveal more quickly than anything what we are made of. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the meanest duty as it ought to be done.”
So the next time you reach for your washcloth to wash the table for the fifteenth time, know that you are making a difference. And also that Jesus is right there with you filling you with grace to smile at that little messy face.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Jesus you serving.” Colossians 3:23-24