Sparkling Clean Christian Service

“Sparkling Clean Christian Service,” Ensign, Oct. 1988, 11

Sparkling Clean Christian Service

It had been one month since I had had major surgery, and I was still wearing a nightgown and robe all day, unable to do much housework. My four-year-old son and I were having lunch when the doorbell rang. I opened the door to see my neighbor, Natalie, standing there expectantly. I apologized for my appearance and asked if she would come in. She followed me to the kitchen table, sat down, and visited while I finished eating. As we talked, I sensed there was a specific reason for Natalie’s visit that day.

Natalie had sent over a delicious strawberry pie the day I had come home from the hospital. I knew she was concerned about me, but now I knew there was more to it. She was a devoted Christian neighbor, one who knew the Bible and was prayerful.

“What housework can I do for you?” she asked. “Vacuum the floor, clean the bathrooms?”

I panicked, knowing I could not refuse her. The Spirit of the Lord impressed upon me that I needed to let Natalie help me. I hesitantly replied that the bathrooms did need cleaning.

For the next two hours, Natalie scrubbed, rinsed, and polished those two bathrooms with attention and energy that I’d never given them before. The faucets shone. The toilets, tubs, and counters sparkled. When Natalie finished, I gave her a big hug. Then, with tears in my eyes, I told her about what King Benjamin had said to his people about service: “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17.) Natalie expressed herself in a similar manner.

As Natalie left for home, I’m not sure whose spirits soared higher—Natalie’s for having had the opportunity to serve, or mine for having followed the admonition of the Spirit to allow her to serve me. My shining rooms allowed us to rejoice together in giving and receiving the gift of love.

Illustrated by Chris Creek