By Day He Was a Janitor

By day he was a janitor.

His pedigree did not accompany letters like PHD, or Dr. No. This hardworking, humble man, walked the halls of a middle school and cleaned up behind the debris left by hundreds of adolescents in a single day. When I was little, it was such a privilege to accompany him after hours, and watch him take care of details most don’t realize need to be done.

He and his wife lived modestly. So much so, it was not uncommon for them to enter a restaurant and re-use old tea bags and just ask the waiter for hot water.

His wardrobe was equally as eccentric. Belt AND suspenders held up a pair of paints which seams had seen better days, and a grayish-white-short-sleeve-button-up topped the ensemble. The upper pocket of this shirt held a worn-out pocket protector which held only one piece of literature:

A pamphlet with the words, ‘Perhaps Today’.

He was quite a site.

On paper, his life was not marked by worldly possessions, but, I would suggest it far-surpassed most.

This man, who happened to be my grandfather, was my first witness of Jesus in words, and by action. A former missionary to Venezuela, he went on to pastor a very small congregation in the Midwest, without pay. He invested countless hours into the lives of only a handful of people for many years.

Yet, the fruit of his labor was far-reaching—much farther than I ever knew.

On the other side of the world, a walking postman lived in Ghana, West Africa. One day while working his route, he noticed a piece of paper on the ground. He reached down and picked it up and put it in his pocket. Later, he read the words, simply titled, ‘The Good News’. This homemade Bible tract was hand-produced by my grandfather, from the other side of the world.

How it reached the ground of this man’s path—only God knows.

But, the result was far-reaching. This man, whose whole family ended up converting to Christianity, went on to become a pastor himself. He planted home churches and shared the Good News of Jesus throughout his lifetime.

Though they never physically met, and related solely by hand-written letters, they worked alongside each other for both their lifetimes.

As a result, the trajectory of many lives changed because of their dedication. How many–only God knows.

Sometimes we don’t see the fruit of our labor, or, how far-reaching our actions can be…

May I encourage you today?

Your actions are far-reaching–much more than you may ever know.

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