Compassion: What Cleaning My House Showed Me About Dusting Off My Heart


” … the Son revealed the wrong judgement, dusty assumptions and pretentious smudges that needed my attention.”

By Musu Taylor-Lewis | Twitter: @mercycanada

The sunlight had me scowling as I looked around the house. I couldn’t relax. In room after room, the rays revealed the dust, fingerprints and window smudges that needed attention. It’s Spring Cleaning time and I’m not someone who finds cleaning therapeutic.

To me, housecleaning is a chore. When my house needs a Great Big Clean, I tend to feel overwhelmed and procrastinate until mornings like these when the need to go beyond the routine clean-up just cannot be ignored. So, in the light of the sun I decided to tackle the task at hand once and for all.

One hour later with the help of a trusty Google search and a few phone calls, I had a cleaning service lined up for later in the week. Aaaah … Now I could reasonably justify the long list of things I needed to do instead of grabbing a bucket and mop.

Fast forward to Big Clean Day, The thought of strangers coming through my house meant I spent some time tidying and sorting to make sure the cleaning could be done properly. I was looking forward to having a completely clean house. (I do like clean, just not the cleaning!) Finally, right on time, the doorbell rang.

I opened the door and in front of me stood the cleaning, em … girl?

She was not what I expected! The young woman lugging a vacuum cleaner to my front door had multiple face piercings and a huge black ring inserted into her ear lobe.

“Hi” she said in a very friendly voice. “My name is Sally* and this is Mary*, we’re your cleaning team for today.”

“Umm, hi,” I stumbled, trying not to show my reaction or betray the thoughts whizzing through my head for a split second.

Mary* didn’t look much older than my teenage son. I wasn’t planning on staying home the whole time. Could I trust them in my house alone? Doesn’t the cleaning service know they should be more careful about who they send over?

Just then, the Spirit stopped me in my tracks with the whisper of one name.

You see, the name the Spirit whispered was the name of a recent Mercy Ministries graduate I’m particularly fond of. She had just announced with pride that she was doing some housecleaning to earn a living. Her past life had been very rough–being treated with mistrust could have reinforced the lies she believed about herself, and today, her fragile healing would be at risk if she were to show up for work and be treated with suspicion.

“This could be her,” He reminded me. “How would you want people to react to her?”

In that moment, the Son-light had me scowling as I looked around my heart. I began to relax as the Son revealed the wrong judgement, dusty assumptions and pretentious smudges that needed my attention.

“Come on in,” I said. “Let me show you around and get you started.”

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. -2 Corinthians 4:6

*names were changed 


About Musu:

My life is lived out of the calling “to advance Christ-centred work.” I am currently Director of Marketing and Development at Mercy Ministries, working to get the word out about the life-transforming work that takes place here. Prior to my work at Mercy, I directed a Crisis Pregnancy Centre, studied Christianity and Culture at Regent College and co-led women’s programs at my local church. I have four great children and am married to Steven, a gift to me from the Creator.

Idelette McVicker
I like soggy cereal and I would like to go to every spot on the map of the earth to meet our world’s women. I dream of a world where no women or girls are for sale. I dream of a world where women and men are partners in doing the work that brings down a new Heaven on earth. My word last year was “roar” and I learned it’s not about my voice rising as much as it is about our collective voices rising in unison to bring down walls of injustice. This year, my own word is “soar.” I have three children and this place–right here, called–is my fourth baby. I am African, although my skin colour doesn’t tell you that story. I am also a little bit Chinese, because my heart lives there amongst the tall skyscrapers of Taipei and the mountains of Chiufen. Give me sweet chai and I think I’m in heaven. I live in Vancouver, Canada and I pledged my heart to Scott 11 years ago. I believe in kindness and calling out the song in each other’s hearts. I also believe that Love covers–my gaps, my mistakes and the distances between us. I blog at and tweet @idelette.
Idelette McVicker

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