My wife Gemma and I recently relocated to the east of England. Our new home was once rented out to tenants who each had their own bedroom, and each of the bedrooms had their own wash basin. When we moved in, each of those wash basins showed obvious evidence of not being cleaned for a long time. The sinks were dirty and spotted with paint from the redecoration of the house before it was put up for sale. On top of that, the taps were caked with solid lime scale. I had put off the job of cleaning the sinks and taps but couldn’t avoid seeing them every time I went into the rooms. So, recently, I finally decided to face the challenge.
I sprayed the sinks and taps with lime scale remover, and after leaving it to do its work of softening the thick layers of lime scale, I began to gently remove them, layer by layer. I suppose I had put off this particular job simply because it was tedious and required a lot of sustained effort, but the result of my perseverance was four gleaming white basins with shiny taps that you could see your reflection in. This may sound a bit sad, but I kept going into each of the rooms just to admire how good they looked compared to their former somewhat embarrassing appearance. No-one else would see what I had done, apart from Gemma my wife, but the amazing thing to me was that I sensed that the Lord was sharing in my rejoicing over the results of my labour.
My experience with sink cleaning caused me to reflect how the most mundane tasks can somehow be transformed by God’s presence with us as we do them. The well known book, ‘Practising the Presence of God’, written by a 17th century French monk called Brother Lawrence, tells how he was able to meet with the Lord when he did the most basic jobs such as working in the monastery kitchen. As I rejoice over the work of my hands even in something so ‘mundane’ as making some sinks and taps clean and shiny, I’m reflecting something of God’s image in me, the One who looked out over creation and spoke those words, ‘Very good’ and who rejoices and takes delight in His work of restoration and new creation in each of our lives.
Sometimes God’s work in our lives can seem very drawn out and painful as He softens and removes layers of life’s deposits of pain and hurt from our hearts. If you’re in the midst of such a process at the moment, take heart that your heavenly Father is working for good to restore His beauty to your life and transform you more and more into the likeness of Jesus.
Prayer: Father, thank You that You are truly interested in everything I do, even the most simple tasks. You made the universe and the stars, yet rejoice with me over my smallest achievements. I love You, Amen.