Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jesus and the cleaning lady…

We’re running late

the drive through line at Starbucks is long

I look nice all dressed in Sunday best

but I  long to be honest

and tell someone that underneath my finery

I am undone

and it’s a good thing

because it’s His hand

that’s plowing up my heart

and all that He does is good

but I keep my heart all buttoned up safe

We rush into the fancy hotel

into the crowd of well dressed ministers and their wives

I’m ten minutes late for the session I want to go to

my three dollar coffee in my hand

my Coach handbag slung over my shoulder

Then, like a camera coming into focus, I see her in the crowd

Her thin gray hair gathered in a bun

held there with a beaded barette

Her shoulders stoop with age

A baggy, green dress hangs on her small frame

She’s wearing black orthopedic shoes

She limps as she pushes the hotel cleaning cart

through the crowd of well dressed ministers and their wives

How old?  Seventy something at least.

She should be home in a rocking chair

a little quilt on her lap

some knitting in her hands

not here cleaning up after us

I wanted to tell her “I see you there.  I notice you.  Thank you.”

But,  I’m already ten minutes late.

After the session, there she is again in the women’s restroom

cleaning up, making sure the stalls all have toilet paper

And in the line in front of me, a gray haired prayer warrior

in a humble outfit of khaki pants, blouse and jacket

asks her about her life

about her job

She sees her, she notices her, she thanks her, she prays for her

And I see Jesus loving the hotel cleaning lady

in the middle of a crowd of well dressed ministers and their wives


Still following,


I’m linking here today~

holy experience


  1. That was a sweet story....Must always remember to open our eyes more.

  2. It's so easy not to "see." May we all have open eyes to the pain as well as the joy of others. May we all have open hearts to be real with each other.

  3. nice. so many unseen...unnoticed...smiles to the one that did and said for all of us to see...smiles.

  4. I want to see people the way Jesus sees them. And take the time to make a difference!
    Thank you for sharing this - I needed to hear it today.

  5. So true and so beautifully expressed. I always feel so convicted when I "see" and do nothing but then see someone else take the initiative to love. I pray that God would give me boldness to see AND act, thank you for your encouragement

  6. Oh, Elizabeth--let us have eyes to see and hearts that are open to all of His creation--"your heart buttoned up"--don't we all do that at times--oh to be open and vulnerable--not closed off and unaccessible--

    Beautiful post.

    Love you dear friend,

  7. oh, i love your beautiful beautiful heart and how you saw her and gave her a voice through your blog. and i know... i want to become undone in light of him, and to trust the world to handle it when i do. ((a lovely link, friend))

  8. Oh, you are making me cry, Elizabeth. How many people go unseen by us? I'm thankful you saw the cleaning lady because now we see her too as we look around us. Thanks for making a ripple....

  9. Elizabeth...this is so beautiful...i cleaned houses for over 20 years and still do part time...having cleaned for many rich people with different big careers...i have learned that no one has a perfect stress-free life. We all need Jesus...the cleaners, the lawyers, and homeless. Thank you for sharing such a lovely and inspiring testiment to your faith. :-)

  10. That's really convicting. I want to prefer the company of the cleaning lady over that of the ministers' lives. But I'm not there (yet?).

  11. Hi, thanks for your note. I think I understood what you mean. But I guess what I wanted to say is that it's one thing to notice a person, but shouldn't the next step be to see a person's heart and to realise that we're the same? It's easy to do that with people similar to us, so we tend to enjoy their company the most. Maybe the same goes for people we look up to. But from the way you describe the cleaning lady I know that I would struggle to interact with her on that same heart level as I would one of the minister's wives. Feel free to write at

  12. oh my goodness. This is so...what I am struggling with.
    I am so glad you got to see someone being Jesus to her. SO often I see someone and think and then I go away. I don't know what to do I guess. I pray and pray that praying is enough. I love these people but I don't know, I'm not that outgoing on the spot, and I don't want to seem condescending. So for now, Jesus has me loving minister's wives and churchy people, who I don't love naturally. they can be harder to love in some ways, even though I'm paying attention to them and talking to them. He's teaching me...


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