– Monday Muse –
Dear One, I am about to tell you something that I do in public which no one has ever seen me do. Before I leave a public restroom stall, I have for decades now, been under the conviction that for the next occupant I am to make sure that the stall is user-friendly. By this I mean, I tidy up the stall, and make sure that the toilet paper is easy-access ready. What if the next person is a little girl who can’t find the loose edge of the paper? Or what if the person has poor eye-sight, or some other physical problem? And, even if the next person has no hardships, shouldn’t I treat her with respect too?
Yes, I admit, the practice might appear a bit odd. But long ago, I was about to leave a messy stall and wouldn’t you know the following words came to me. “Are you going to leave it like this for the next occupant?” Apparently, I wasn’t. So with a wad of clean toilet paper in my hand, I began picking up loose pieces of paper. With that first effort, I entered into non-profit, secret, until now, public restroom service.
Sometimes I am in a rush, and cannot, for the life of me, get a hold of the toilet paper edge, and I tell myself to just leave it be, and head out, but I can’t, I just can’t. I picture a sweet little girl, or a not so sweet one, struggling to get hold of some toilet paper, and find that I must do what I can to help her out.
And yes, of course, I sometimes think that just maybe, just maybe, I am a bit strange. But then I think, if it takes being strange to respond faithfully to the question, “Are you going to leave it like this for the next occupant?,” I want to be strange.
But guess what I discovered…to my great pleasure? I was not alone in the call to non-profit, secret, public restroom service. While Ron and I were at the movies with another couple, we women visited the restroom. While I was washing my hands my friend grabbed a few paper towels and began wiping off the wet, messy counter. I was quick to question her. She told me that she not only tidied up for the next person who entered the stall she used, but that she tidied up the restroom as well, as if she was readying for a guest. And in God’s eyes, I guess she was doing just that. We left the lady’s room laughing at each other.
Throughout Scripture God tests people. Today, many Christians believe that the tests are meant to prove our level of faithfulness to God. I don’t believe that. God is all knowing. He knows our hearts better than we do. I think the tests are meant to reveal to Man the condition of his heart. I certainly, regretfully, have failed some of my tests, but when it comes to my call for public restroom service, I hope I can always say, “Lord, I’ve got this!”
“Be kind and compassionate to one another…” Ephesians 4:32a NIV
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