Nothing humbles a heart more than cleaning a toilet. Did you all know, that just two days after my launch party for Broken Umbrellas, I was cleaning the toilets at the Cowgill Baptist church? Someone asked me after the Facebook party if I ever came down off that party high. “Yup,” I told them, “cleaning toilets took care of that.” HA!
I’ve been the Cowgill Baptist church’s custodian since March. Erected in 1888, this little country church is so precious to me, and so are the people who worship there. I vacuum their dust bunnies, wipe fingerprints from mirrors, straighten their hymnals, and yes, clean their toilets. I pray over the pews, for those who find safe haven in the house of God. As I wipe Kool-Aid from the kitchen counters, I imagine the children who come to quench their thirst in the house of God. I straighten coloring pages and chairs in classrooms, pick up chalk and pennies, and praise God for these teachers shepherding their young flocks. I leave that place tired with achy muscles, but also with a peace that soothes my tired and achy heart.
I leave for France the 22nd of June (6 days!), and that frazzled panicky countdown has started for me. The list of things to do grows. Cleaning the Cowgill Baptist church after VBS was one thing on that list. I’ve had the blessed honor of participating twice now in my own church’s VBS, so I know the preparations that go into pulling one off. And I know in my heart of hearts, that the same preparations would happen if only one child came.
Twenty children came last week to the Cowgill Baptist church’s VBS. I know because I vacuumed up their cake crumbs and sequins. I cleaned their sticky glue prints, and boy were they ever thirsty! I found lost items and overflowing trash cans. I arrived frazzled because of everything still pending on my to do list for France. I left at peace. And the only thing that happened between arriving and leaving was me cleaning.
Humility isn’t a taker, it’s a giver.
That’s a new concept for me because I have always believed being humble—or humbled—required a sacrifice on my end—something is taken from me. And sometimes it does, but leaving the Cowgill Baptist church after VBS showed me that in humility, I receive far more than I ever give.
Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life (Proverbs 22:4).