Pick Up A Broom

I have cleaned, refurbished, repainted, rearranged, pressure washed, deloused, fixed, hired, rewired, scrubbed and mopped many houses for people. I love doing it, and I loved working along with some of you who jumped in to help!


I had expectations that this gift to them would inspire them to be more involved, a better parent, keep a clean house for their kids, I don’t know… whatever.

Sadly, most of these houses returned to the state they were in before we came to help. Filthy, downtrodden, infested, ruined, or abandoned. Several times we have provided this service for the same family with the same expectations. Bought beautiful furniture for them, cleaned, painted, gardened, made every home and apartment they went to into a showplace!

We were always disappointed when things were ruined, sold, soiled and stained. It’s like they didn’t care at all.

To some it would appear our efforts were in vain, why would we bother with people like this?

The fact of the matter is that I was the one who was wrong.

I was the one who was serving with expectations. Transparent strings attached. Hopeful that they would do it my way from now on.

I was the one who was disappointed when it seemed like they didn’t “appreciate it enough to keep it up”.

Shame on me.

Most of us have no idea what limitations other people have. Some are limited by physical issues, some financial, some time and energy, some just can’t organize their thoughts enough to tackle things. Everything overwhelms them. Sometimes it’s a 75 year old Grandma who is raising her grandkids and just can’t keep up with them AND work her job at a fast food restaurant.

If we can bring cleanliness, joy, brightness, dishes, decorations, clean sheets, curtains, food, organization, and order to someones home, even if it is just temporary, then that’s what we try to do.

We are not to judge.

We are to lift the fallen, help the broken, and serve without expectations. Always.

We are to pick up a broom.

“There should be less talk; a preaching point is not a meeting point.
What do you do then? Take a broom and clean someone’s house.
That says enough.”
― Mother Teresa

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.
We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
― Mother Teresa

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”
― Mother Teresa

“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”
― Mother Teresa

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