We met at 5:00am equipped with towels, window washing supplies, sleepy eyes, and a heart to see our city redeemed by Christ. In five teams we journeyed up both sides of our two main streets. The objective of the experience was to metaphorically wash the feet of our local businesses by washing their front glass doors and by praying for each business by name, including the business owners, employees, and those who would venture in to shop, talk, receive services, etc.
A friend of mine and I began on the left side of Main St. Ironically, our first door was to City Hall. I figured that if we were going to raise any suspicion, it would be here. Reason being, the window washing solution that we were using came from a spray can and applied as white foam. In other words, if you were watching us from a distance, you would have seen us shaking a can in a similar way that you would shake a spray paint can and spraying a white streak on each and every glass door that we came to. Turned out to be no problem whatsoever. What a neat opportunity to begin by washing the feet of the police officers and city leaders and to pray for many of them by name.
We washed doors for nearly two hours which got us to the complete opposite side of the city. One of our friends made little red cards that we tied to each door handle which said, “Be blessed today–You are loved.”
We all ended up at a restaurant for breakfast and proceeded to tell the stories of what this was like and what we learned from it. One girl expressed how at first she saw this as a complete waste of time. No one would ever know that we had done it. As a matter of fact, someone’s job was probably to wash the door again that day. Then she realized something incredibly important: “Who cares if anyone notices.” She later discovered that the feet of Jesus’ disciples would just get dirty again. He wasn’t doing this just because it happened to be a need, but rather He did it because it was way of life that He longs for us to live in. She also made the discovery that the most powerful part of the entire experience was being able to pray for each business and for people that she would never know.
Another friend made several comparisons between the experience and following in the Way of Jesus. He commented on how neat it was to do this together with a community of people. Everyone had a different role to enable it to happen. Next he realized that no matter how clean we got the outside of the window, if the inside was still dirty the door was still a mess. What a keen observation of what the church has become–a spiritual country club that focuses on cosmetic alterations of the exterior. O that we would be a Church that is about the heart of people!
I personally was struck by how my city began to look differently to me. Our particular downtown is rated in the top ten in America due to the high-end retail and up-scale restaurants. It has always been a bit difficult for me, but realized that this is the place where God has called me to. Perhaps a heart of compassion for me city began to blossom inside of me?
My personal favorite moment of the experience was when something specific would catch my eye inside of the store or restaurant. Whatever it was that got my attention, the Spirit would use to inform my prayers for that particular establishment. What a joy to be able to pray specifically but unknowingly for people of my community that God is relentlessly pursuing.
After breakfast, we began our walk home. My heart was overwhelmed as I walked by squeeky clean (exterior only of course) glass doors with incognito messages of blessing tied to them.
God would you keep redeeming our city!