“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!