When Ordinary is Special

This post first appeared on Velvet Ashes

Vacuums, Sponges and Mops, Oh My.

More than likely, we are well-acquainted with these tools (of torture).  In fact, while in China, the brand of cleaning supplies in our grocery store was “Good Wife” which, while it may be true, is not exactly an ego boosting sentiment…

On a side note, one of my favorite parts of China was the product names they came up with. Another hilarious brand name was “White Men” toothpaste.  I don’t even know what that means but it made me smile every morning.

Each of my “Good Wife” products worked on different parts of the house, but all had the same purpose: to clean.  Mops are not meant to wipe counters.  Dish sponges are not for toilets. Toilet bowl brushes are certainly not meant to clean anything other than toilets.

I have a special place in my heart for that last sentence.  While in China, we discovered an elderly woman who needed money to pay for her daughter’s medical treatments.  She wanted to clean our house weekly and so she did.  It felt very strange to me to have a maid but it was helping her and the going rate at the time was the equivalent of $5 so we “splurged.”

The darling woman (who insisted we call her grandma) would not be persuaded to stop cleaning our ENTIRE bathroom with the toilet bowl brush.  She did the toilet first (of course) then the shower, the white tile walls, then the sink.  Every week after she left I would re-clean and de-poo the bathroom.

I tried everything I could to communicate that she needed to stop.  I performed gestures that would have won me ANY game of charades, I looked up words in my Chinese/English dictionary,  I asked my language teacher to help me say it correctly.  Still, the feces-laden brush would “clean” the bathroom each Monday morning.

“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” 1 Cor. 12:7

In the same way as the Good Wife tools our spiritual gifts are very different.  Some of us (myself included) look around at other people’s shiny gifts and then back down to our own toilet bowl brush with very little enthusiasm. They are gifted.  I'm just so…ordinary.   The truth, friend, is that all of our gifts are still that: gifts.  You are unique.  Your gifts might not seem as sparkly as someone else’s but the God of the universe wanted YOU to have it and it’s all yours.  So rock it!

Want to know mine?  Hold onto your hats...It’s organizing.  I know.  Try not to be jealous.  Really though, it’s not my favorite on the gift list and wouldn’t have been my first choice. Consequently, I’ve tried to fight it and deny it but the reality: I get giddy in office supply stores.  I’m owning it.  A second reality: when I’ve tried my hand at gifts I’ve deemed more exciting, it hasn’t gone too well.

Annoying as it is, I’ve seen my (nerdy) gifts bless other people.  Apparently not everyone is as OCD as I am.  Apparently others can benefit from my attention to detail.  Seeing other people benefit time and again makes me embrace my pocket protector and hole punch with increasing gratitude.

What is your gift?  Is it what you would have chosen?  Are you rocking it?