In our church, members of the congregation help with the weekly cleaning of the church. It was our family’s turn (along with three other families) to participate in the cleaning last night. We cleaned everything from the windows to the chair rails, the choir seats to the floors. It was a flurry of activity, with all ages working side by side, directed by a very capable member who has been asked to be in charge each week and to teach us what needs to be done.
The younger children were busily cleaning the glass entry doors (a great choice, by the way – it kept them busy for quite awhile,) while the older children and adults vacuumed, scrubbed toilets and sinks and cleaned chalkboard trays and countertops.
While I was in one of the classrooms shining the windows, I heard a vacuum out in the hall approaching, and I could hear what I thought was singing. Sure enough, as it got closer, I could hear a child’s voice singing, “Onward Christian Soldiers”, and my heart melted. I thought, “How wonderful that a child has been taught to sing while he works – and how sweet that he is singing praise to God!”
I looked at the crevices in the window, and saw that there was some soil that I hadn’t noticed before. The children’s song, “This Is God’s House” came to my mind, and I felt that I truly was cleaning God’s house, and I was suddenly inspired to do my very best to make it as clean as possible. I sprayed the window once again, and scrubbed anew.
At the end of the cleaning, the brother who was in charge called us together to have a prayer, in which he spoke the words, ‘We offer up Thy house to Thee now clean for the use of Thy children,” and again my heart was touched.
The hour or so that I’d given up to help seemed now not like a sacrifice, but rather like time sanctified. I felt I had been involved in a sacred work, and had been blessed by that offering.
And I was reminded that all the good we do, even cleaning toilets and scrubbing windows, can be done “to the Lord”*, and thus be a blessing to us.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men..”
**Alma 37:36 “…let all thy doings be unto the Lord…”