It’s A Dirty Job, But Somebody Has To Do It

“The LORD sustains the humble.”–Psalm 147:6

We all have things that we know need to be done, but we put them off. We find ways to procrastinate. “Oh, I'll do the dishes in the morning.” “The carpet sweeping can go one more day.” “I just don't have time to put the trash out right now.”  The more we do that, the easier it gets.

But there are bigger things than those that also get put off. Or actually, that are pushed away. If the deed is one that we truly do not have a wish to do, or don't feel it is our “gift” or “calling,” we might even back off, waiting for someone else to come to the rescue, and be humble enough to do the job so we don't have to, and thus, we will not feel guilty. Oh, really?

We have a homeless ministry in our church. We are a part of it. Some of the folks are wonderful, almost 'normal', like us. Others are true undesireables. It would be easy to love on the 'normal' ones, and shun the others. But when you really have it in your heart to make a difference, then you have to reduce yourself to….love.

Jesus did this many times over. He ate with the tax collector, who certainly was not a popular man. He touched and healed the lepers, who were usually sent away to live in the wilderness, where they could not be seen or 'rub off' on others. He spent time speaking with Samaritans, who were virtually the shunned people. And he spends time with the likes of you and me.

Sometimes I find it difficult to minister to the homeless. Often they are not very clean. Gee, could that be because they don't have access to a shower? Or if they live in a shelter, because they don't have money to buy or room to store personal items? Often their manners are not the best. And, to be honest, sometimes they are not polite, and quite often, they appear to not be grateful for the small ways we attempt to help them.

Then there are those I just want to scoop up and take home with me. My heart breaks, without any problem, for their circumstance. A circumstance that could easily befall any one of us. And there are those who look like me, talk like me, and want to live like me. I can communicate with them on a very 'like' level.

But the dirty jobs are the jobs that really should touch our hearts. In the deepest of places, for the most crucial of reasons. Because when we get down and dirty and 'do' for those who have so much less, and we don't complain and don't even take the time to think about it, that is when our dirty jobs and our willingness to do them truly touch the heart of God.

He sees, He hears, and He understands. He knows when it is difficult for us. Likewise, He knows that this is our finest hour. And not only is a person helped, perhaps even brought to salvation, but something wonderful, something huge and gigantic simply bursts within us, opening up our hearts in a way that only God, and ourselves, can see and appreciate.

Give me a dirty job to do. I'll do it. I'll cheerfully wash your dishes. I'll plug in your vacuum cleaner and make a pathway through the dust. And if you are ever down and out, and just need someone to say, 'I care, here let me help you', then you can call on me. Not because I'm somebody special, but because I'm somebody humble. Because I've had my heart touched by doing a dirty job, in a way it's never been touched before. God has seen to that. He'll see to yours too, by the way!

Be First to Comment

  1. Joe_Sewell said:

    On the other hand, sometimes the best way for someone to serve a particular ministry is to stay as far away from it as possible. As someone with panic/anxiety disorder, hyperacusis (in other words, I’ve heard dog whistles, and a screaming kid is like taking a hat pin, getting it almost white-hot, and shoving it into one ear, through my brain, & out the other ear), and a few other issues, dealing with kids is more than a “dirty job” or “not my calling.” It’s dangerous. Seriously, anxiety attacks can trigger as anger attacks. So, please, refuse to judge the person who chooses to avoid a particular ministry, especially when they’re involved in other “dirty jobs.” God has not equipped everybody to be able to handle the same stuff. A foot simply cannot do all the jobs of an arm (to use the Body of Christ illustration).

    January 23, 2011
  2. Of course there are times when we know we should not be a part of a certain ministry. There is no condemnation in that. There is not one iota of ‘judgement’ in my article. This is my opinion, based on what I know from the Word of God, and my own experience. It is how I have sometimes felt, and sometimes STILL feel! And I know others who have felt the same thing. Thank you for your comment, Joe.

    January 23, 2011
  3. Joe_Sewell said:

    Forgive me, Lili. I didn’t mean to imply that your article was judgmental at all. I’ve seen too many people, though, take your stance and come off judgmental, whether they mean to or not. It’s a touchy topic for some of us.

    January 23, 2011
  4. There is nothing to forgive, Joe! You were simply stating your opinion, and I did not take offense. It is just important to me that people understand where I am coming from in my writing. I would never intentionaly cause harm. But I do understand what you said. And I really do appreciate your comment. These things help us learn to express ourselves better. I do thank you! And I hope you have a blessed evening!

    January 24, 2011

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