The author of the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us today that “…whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; He scourges every son he receives.” How hard it is to remember this when the Heavenly Father chastens us through the circumstances of life! Often our first reaction to trouble and trial is to complain, to become resentful and to plot our revenge on those whom we deem to be the cause. The Letter to the Hebrews continues: “At the time it is administered, all discipline seems a cause for grief and not for joy, but later it brings forth the fruit of peace and justice to those who are trained in its school.” Every trial is meant to bring us into a closer relationship with the Lord of love. It is all worth it! But sometimes it takes awhile for us to get there.
One Sister ponders this truth using the image of a cleaning lady struggling to accept her position of marginalization and finally coming to understand that Another sees and loves her most tenderly despite what her employers think of her.
The Cleaning Lady
Peering through the curtained western sky,
My swiftly setting sun
summons me, so I
Must run, for now I see my work is done.
Neglected, filthy rags I used to clean
The spills and messes some have left behind,
The dying sun reveals a moldy green.
Look not at me, my ladies, lest you find
What best is kept unseen.
While my work is over and my day is done,
You live in your morning just begun.
And so it is good you are unaware
That scouring despair
Is cleansing me fair
For the One who comes by night.
See how my graying clouds are blushing
In the disappearing light.
And now the hidden glory rushing
Becomes a golden orange bright.
Soon will descend the singing dark
That will veil in velvet my sighing heart
That starts or stills by love’s delight
In Him who just assured me this-
That starlight is enough for bliss.
Thus I gather my cleaning rags and me
Releasing that labor we soon forget,
Pleased that Another remembers yet.
And so with a given serenity,
Lifted up, I will smile and say:
“I pray you have a blessed day”