Love your neighbor as yourself. Romans 13:9
Why dont you wash those windows too? I asked a teenage boy who was washing a storefront window. I was pointing to the filthy windows next door. And they were very dirty, indeed!
I dont get paid for that, the teen responded.
But wouldnt that make your store look nicer? I challenged him.
He merely shrugged his shoulders; and I walked on. What a shame, I thought later. Washing the next-door windows would have taken less than two minutes. It could have benefited his bosss business, the entire downtown appearance, and even this chaps own reputation as an employee!
He may have been a reliable employee. Yet he didnt seem to grasp the potential benefit of extending himself beyond what he was paid to do.
Of course, we cant be critical of this youth. After all, when we look at him, we see ourselves. Hes simply mimicking the world which shaped him. Lets admit, broadly speaking, were not good at looking beyond me-self. We dont easily think of ourselves collectively and see how our private choices affect communities as a whole, whether a business, family, school, sports team, church, or society in general. Thankfully God has provided a better way: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Look at it this way: Our eyes are like windows through which we see the world around us. The clearer our vision, the better we can transform any menial task, such as window washing, into a radically proactive social gesture. And no one can stop us. (except ourselves)
Is that not the distinguishing mark of the Christian?
Prayer: God clear the dust from our eyes that we may see beyond our own interests and preoccupations. Empower us to see even our most mundane tasks as opportunities to be channels of love.