I had the privilege today to preach God's Word in 2 morning services, to pray for the physical healing of a fellow pastor suffering with cancer, and to hear an evening message from Brother Philip Tyre, our gifted student minister. Despite the blessing of those things, the most pivotal part of my day came after the closing prayer in the evening service.
Tonight as the evening service ended, I stepped into the back section of our main building to wash my hands. My wife and I call it "washing off the fellowship." You know, a pastor shakes a lot of hands on a Sunday!
As I began washing my hands I heard a "gurgling" sound coming from a brass drain line in the floor. To make a long story short, our baptismal pool's drain line was clogged in some way. The water in the line backed up and began bubbling up the drain lines in the floors of both men's and women's restrooms and a mop sink inside a nearby janitorial closet. In a matter of moments I was standing in warm water about an inch deep in the restroom.
As I contemplate this event, I want to pause and (strangely enough) give God a word of thanksgiving.
First, because the water was from the baptistery. Hey, that may not sound like much cause for celebration. But when you're in a public place occupied by 1,000 people on any Sunday and you are suddenly standing in a large pool of warm water from an "unknown source' you will be grateful to discover it's clean water from the baptistery!
Secondly, I saw the body of Christ jump into action. No one complained. No one griped. Men began searching for the problem and enacting a solution. Brooms and mops were deployed. Others sought out the nearest available wet/dry vacuum cleaner. It may sound strange but I was blessed at the sight.
And maybe it's our Southern culture...I prefer to think it's our Biblical view of manhood...but I noticed that none of the women thought for a moment that this was their responsibility. Thank God for men who are real men.
Thirdly, I was grateful I had worn shoes with a rubber sole. Most of my dress shoes have leather soles which would more readily become saturated. It may seem a small thing, but this morning as I grabbed my leather-soled brown shoes I remembered that a little rain was in the forecast. Little did I know, the water God wanted to save my shoes from was not a sprinkle from above but a flood from below.
Finally, as I took my position with a broom inside the women's restroom, coaxing the water back down the newly-cleared drain line, I was literally overwhelmed with this realization; God is allowing me to clean the bathroom floor of His house. It was and still remains a high and gracious privilege.
Those who know me know that I still believe in wearing your "Sunday best" to church. I had on a suit, tie, and my best blue dress shirt. And yet here I was being a plumber! God reminded me that my #1 job is to be a servant. Whether it's at a bedside, in the pulpit, at the funeral home, playing with my kids, or cleaning up water in the bathroom, I am to do all things to the glory of God.
Frankly, my own sinful state should merit my eternal place in Hell. Yet the LORD in His mercy saw fit to save me, call me into His service, and give me the wondrous blessing of being a part of what I believe is the greatest church in America (Pastor, I hope you feel the same about your fellowship). My soul was filled with delight that God would let me clean His bathroom.
And to my fellow brothers in the "Baptistery Broom Brigade," I count it all joy to join heart, and hand (and mop) with such a great group of God's servants. I re-learned a lesson in servanthood tonight as you taught me with a living example of humility. I am blessed to serve by your side.