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A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Cleaning For The House Cleaner

August 27th, 2012

Working my way through grad school in Phoenix I had a small cleaning business. I was good at it. My Mom and extended family had taught me well. All it took was a single ad in the┬ánewspaper saying I had been “trained by meticulous Grandmothers” and I was off and running.

Over the years I observed many of my customers exhibiting a similar and curious behavior. I’d ring the bell with my tools, supplies and vacuum in hand. The door would open and there would stand my customer. Breathless, her arms full of clothes, shoes, books and toys. And peeking out from the bottom, a bottle of 409 and a rag.

“Hi, Todd. How are you? Sorry, the house is a mess. I was just trying to pick up a little. The shelves are so dusty you could plant potatoes. Bri spilled apple juice on the floor two days ago and didn’t tell me till this morning. The kids’ stuff is everywhere and I didn’t have time to clean up the kitchen. Oh, and don’t even bother to go in Tim’s room. You won’t be able to find the floor.”

After I got to know them and they became regular customers I would listen to them lament their cluttered surroundings. Then I’d tease them. “You’re right. It’s a disaster. You really should call someone to come clean this place.” We would laugh together and acknowledge the irony of “cleaning for the house cleaner”.

People hired me to clean because they either didn’t have the time or the ability. The point of hiring me was to shift the burden of cleaning to someone who could do the job better and faster. It’s why they paid me. Yet customer after customer would tire themselves in the hour before my arrival trying to make the mess look better than it was, sometimes trying to convince themselves they didn’t need me at all.

I can’t speak for you but often when coming to God I catch myself thinking, “I really need to spend some time talking to Him. But I better work on cleaning up my mess first. If I can string together two or three good days in a row, I’ll be in a better place.” Then I scramble around picking up the debris, trying to convince myself and God that I’m not as big a mess as it might appear.

I’m cleaning for the House Cleaner.

Should we do our best to clean up? Certainly. But not apart from God. We’ll never fix our sin problem by working on it. It’s when we swing the door open and say, “Hey, God. Welcome to my mess!” that He is able to do the clean sweep. Even in those areas where we can’t see the floor.

Hebrews 4 tells us that because of Christ dying for us on the cross, we are to “come boldly before the throne of grace, where we will obtain mercy and find help in our time of need.” Notice it doesn’t say to come boldly before the throne of “personal performance” or “human achievement”.

It says “come boldly before the throne of grace“.

Grace. Unmerited favor.

As the old hymn says, “Jesus paid it all.” Stop trying to clean for the House Cleaner. Open the door and let Him tackle your mess.

He’s better at it than you are!

“Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow!”Elvina Hall, 1865

Todd A. Thompson – ASliceOfLifeToGo.com