I looked up and out of the crowd of hundreds coming for food on the streets I see a woman. Her sweet spirit catches my attention, as she flashes a big smile. She doesn’t see me, but I’m captivated by her.
I couldn’t help but walk towards her.
As she waited in line to get a bottle of water, she was blessing others around her with what she had. She gave away a few cents, a bus pass, and continued to dig in her purse for treasures to pass out.
Meeting her our conversation flowed freely, but she was in a hurry to catch the last bus out to get her back to the shelter before curfew. I hated to see our conversation end as she was so fascinating.
I asked how I could help her as the smeared mascara running down her face was telling me a silent story. She just hugged me and said to thank all that were giving to those in need.
She was blessing me when I had come to bless her.
As she begin to walk away I called out that I’d really like to see her again, maybe even at church. She turned and said, “I have an awesome story to tell you.” I encouraged her to come back and tell me when she had time. I’m a story girl and I had to hear!
I was shocked when she walked back to me. Coming closer she said, “I’ll tell you now.” I was so honored.
She began telling how she grew up in a Christian home, but somewhere in her teen years she found herself on the wrong path. The path led her down a lonely road when she was in her late 20’s.
Traveling late one night by herself, she was pushed off the road. Then stabbed nine times by others. Laying there in pools of blood for quite sometime before help arrived, she knew she was looking at death. A stab wound to the eye, 1/2 inch from her heart, her leg, arm, and almost a punctured lung – she was blessed to even be breathing.
Just let me clean the sewers of heaven.
She began to cry out to God and ask for forgiveness. She begged God to take her back. She began to retell her prayer to me,
“God, please take me as I am and just let me clean the sewers of heaven. I can’t even imagine how grand heaven is. And if you’ll let me clean the sewers, I’ll be so honored.”
I’ve never even thought of the streets, gutters, or sewers in heaven other than they will be gold. I lost it!
I was crying tears of humility.
We all talk about heaven. We want the grandest mansion. The biggest cloud and the shiniest harp. Alright, maybe I’m exaggerating but that’s how we are. Selfish! Maybe because we think we earned it.
It’s like we are the apostles arguing over who is the greatest.
Then his disciples began arguing about which of them was the greatest. But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he brought a little child to his side. Then he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.” (Luke 9:46-48 NLT)
In the blink of an eye, I saw my warped selfish view of heaven. Not that I think I need the biggest mansion – nor could I careless about the clouds and harps. (to be truthful, my view of heaven has changed dramatically) It doesn’t matter what heaven is like or what I’ll be doing — for crying out loud, I’ll be in the presence of JESUS!
What is your view of heaven?
Could you be joyful just to say, “Lord, I’ll clean the sewers of heaven to be in your presence?”