The following devotional comes from Marci McGowan, a DisciplesNet regular and a member at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Asheville, North Carolina USA. DisciplesNet welcomes devotionals from the community. Submit these to: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” -Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
My work is at a retreat center, doing as-needed housekeeping. My assignments could be anywhere from cleaning a suite room, to four guest rooms, to the lobby areas or the cabins. If I find a tip in the room—an amount of money left for the housekeeper—that is a big motivator to me. I have also found notes, such as thanks, or blessings, which make my day. Guests who leave these things make the work seem lighter as I go about my job, through each room, being careful to note what is and is not needed for the next guest.
Often when I enter a room I’ll find wet towels scattered about, the ironing board left out and various personal items left behind. If the linen crew comes in to strip the beds and take the sheets to the laundry area, I get lucky. Otherwise, by my fourth room of taking off sheets and putting them on, I am ready for a break.
The procedure for making each bed is the same: fitted sheet first, then flat sheet, fleece blanket, and then another flat sheet over the blanket. That all has to be tucked in with just-right hospital corners on the end of the bed. Next comes the bedspread, until finally the pillows finish the job, four to each queen-sized bed.
We make sure towels are in place, folded just right and ready to be used. However, our rooms have a printed card reminding guests to “conserve.” This gives guests the chance to be thoughtful about not using towels and linens unless they are really needing to be used.
Room by room, housekeepers continue until their assignment sheets are completed. At the end of our shifts, we each look at the cart we’ve used and replenish it with the proper amount of sheets, pillow cases, toiletries, and chocolates. Of course, our giving thanks to God at the end of a busy shift helps us on the ride home.
I really like where I work and what I am doing. The best part about the job is knowing that I have made a difference for the next guest coming in, giving them a chance to relax better because their needs have been thought of then seen to. No matter how busy our jobs may be, now matter where we are, we all have jobs to do in the business of sharing one another’s burdens.
Want to be a perfect guest? Here are a few tips that make a big difference to house keepers.
When people leave tips, the amounts usually range from $1 to $20. I hope guests don’t see these tips as “throwing money away.” It could be the housekeeper’s gas or groceries for that particular week. Housekeepers can never ask a guest for tips; that is considered rude and wrong.
Even if you cannot afford a tip of any kind, the little thoughtful things do help, such as leaving the towels in a pile or the sheets stripped off the bed. Any housekeeper would appreciative the guest doing so. These thoughtful acts build up.
We are all called to serve, whether it is in housekeeping or something else. Each job, no matter how insignificant it may appear to be, is actually very important in the eyes of God. And every thoughtful act toward each other speaks of God’s love.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you the opportunities we have for work in our lives, and for your inspiration to always do our best, whatever we set our hand to do. Help us to see that every calling from you is a great one, if we work to do our best with the talents and resources that you give us. Help us to not sell ourselves short in thinking that what we do does not matter.
Thank you for the gift of seeing the world through another’s eyes, and of respecting the place of each of your dear children in each and every situation. Help us as we learn to help each other, and discover the the great privilege it is to share one another’s burdens. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.