Lessons from Glass Cleaning


From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Ephesians 4:16, NIV).

I spent my morning washing the glass doors in the shop I work at. It needed done, and as I was low man on the totem pole, I was asked to do it. Although, whoever thought that the bottom guy on the totem was the least important had it totally backwards; the lowest image on a totem pole is the most important. But I digress…

I was happy to do it. They needed it too. Fingerprints, dirt, smoke (it is a smoke shop after all). It took half an industrial size roll of paper towels and a lot of window cleaner.

As I was cleaning, two thoughts came to my mind: the first was something my friend and mentor Charlie Jones used to say, “You need to be learning to find the fun in anything. If I had to put nuts on bolts on an assembly line the rest of my life, I could have fun! If you can’t have fun where you are, you’re not going to be able to have fun where you aren’t.” The second thing was remembering Thomas a Kempis and how he worshipped God while he was doing dishes.

I was happy to wash the glass. When I was finished washing all the glass faces of the humidors, I approached the manager and said, “I still have half a roll of paper towels and some window cleaner left, what else can I do?” If there was work like that that no one else wanted to do that needed done and there was the time to do it, I was willing to do it.

When you work in a retail shop like I am right now, you are part of a team. There are all sorts of little things that need done to keep a retail shop looking nice and functioning well. If you have people who are amazing sales people, but who are not willing to do anything else, like inventory, sweeping the floors, and (in my case) washing the glass) you are not going to get many people coming in who will buy anything.

The same is true in the church. Everyone sees the pastor because he is the front guy. But there are a lot of people doing things behind the scenes that make ministry, church services, and sermons come together.

When Mandi was pregnant with our third daughter, she had some serious complications that kept her bed bound for sever weeks. Our babysitter stepped up and made her self available to watch my other two girls whenever I needed it during that time. She wouldn’t take my money, she just wanted to help. If I did not have her help, I never would have been able to keep up with my responsibilities. Childcare may not seem like an important gift in in God’s kingdom, compared to preaching, teaching, evangelism, or ministry. But without her and her gift, I could not have done any of those things.

Don’t look down on little things, jobs that no one sees, and that no one thinks about. No one is going to walk into my store and ask who the awesome glass cleaner is. But the store can’t do what it is there for without a good glass cleaner. Your gift may be childcare, cleaning, organizing, technical, or just being helpful. Those are essential gifts. The truth is, there is no unessential gift. For your church to work right and function well, it needs your gift.

10 thoughts on “Lessons from Glass Cleaning

  1. Wonderful post, Dan. One thing I’d like to add. Don’t forget to thank the guy who does those things in your church or business! Often, they are overlooked, and they really don’t mind if no one says anything because they are doing it for the Lord. But a simple thank you goes a long way to lifting their spirits. You never know what kind of day they might be having.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post. And so true! Pete is right, it is important, when possible to appreciate the behind the scenes players. As a stay at home mom, when my kids were small, I often reminded myself, ‘do all things unto the Lord’. Routine, mundane tasks take on eternal significance in that light. Also, Christians are referred to the as the ‘body of Christ’. Although certain body parts are essential for life, the rest of the body determines the quality of that life.
    I appreciate your ability to relate day to day experiences back to our life in Christ. You do it in an honest, straightforward way. It’s a regular encouragement to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You just made my day! And it’s only 9:13am! Thank you for your encouragement! There is no job as important as a mom. Of course, being a guy, I want to put being a dad up there too, but my wife would kill me. All the work you do is soooo important, and it will have ripple effects for years and years and years. None of those little mundane and ordinary things are meaningless. And God loves to teach us through the everyday stuff. Glad He is encouraging you too. =)

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  3. Dan, I really related and you wrote from experience. It made me remember that to lead you have to serve. I recalled in my early career in human resources, I was interviewing employees about their jobs to properly classify them. After introductions, I would ask ‘tell me what it is you do?” Invariably, they would respond: “i’m just a _______.” My immediate response was, “All jobs are critical to the overall operation of the organization. Please don’t say you are “just a ____.” That devalues your contribution to the organization and tells me that you don’t think your job is necessary.” That normally worked and they would go on and tell me how important their position was to our overall mission.

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  4. Dan, Very nice post… it’s only been a couple of days having you as a TEAM member and I will say it’s great so far. I don’t know what it is about you, it just feels comfortable sharing our work environment with you. Dan you bring grounded type feeling to the day. Thanks for this. Duane (the guy that has to hand out the chores)

    Liked by 1 person

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