The Street Sweeper

16 01 2012

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

We live regular lives. Ordinary lives. Lives filled with the unremarkable, commonplace stuff necessary to take care of our families, do our jobs, and order our lives. Like so many others, my life is dominated by the rhythm of the washing machine, the need to go to the grocery store, the ring of the alarm clock, and the insistent deadlines of work. There doesn’t seem to be much time or many opportunities for great deeds, bold acts of service, or risky steps of faith.

We are captivated by big – big sacrifices, big speeches, and big splashes in the pool of life. But Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words remind us of the big impact ordinary can have when lived with passion and purpose.

It doesn’t matter what position you hold. What matters is how you live out the position to which you have been called. Will you fill your little corner of the world with light, walk with integrity, respond with love, open doors with hospitality, and treat others with dignity? You have the opportunity today to let others experience grace, be touched by kindness, and catch a glimpse of what is possible when someone walks with God.  Jesus said it this way – “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) It takes the continual surrender of who I am to create a canvas on which God’s glory can shine.

My Jesus Resolution today is be a street sweeper. I am going to embrace all the opportunities that living my regular, ordinary life has for showing Jesus to others. I am not going to wish to be someone else or hope that one day the “big” chance comes along. Every day I have a thousand moments in which I can spread a little kindness, extend a touch of grace, offer a cheerful smile, speak a gentle word, or hold out a helping hand. Each one by itself may not seem like much. But one brushstroke doesn’t make a masterpiece. One note isn’t a symphony. But a million dabs of paint later, you could see the beauty of the Sistine Chapel. The same is true of my life. I may not be able to see how God can use each of these ordinary moments, but I want the sum of them to point to one place – Jesus.


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2 responses

17 01 2012
Glenda

Casandra, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us day after day. Today I am excited to give a smile to encourage or an act of kindness. Knowing it pleases him, I’ll be wondering what color God sees in my canvas.
I may not get to do the ‘biggie’ but I will do my ordinary with joy today!

17 01 2012
Charlotte Hillbolt

Casandra, Your devotional reminded me so much of my mother’s teaching,
“Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord”. Even though that was over 70 years ago, I still think of it. Especially when I am doing seemingly unimportant jobs, like washing dishes, etc. We should always remember that God should be a part of anything we do, say, or even think. In that way we make Him or Shepherd. Charlotte Hillbolt

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