Little Acts of Love

My dad always washes floors by hand. It used to [alright, sometimes still does] drive my mom crazy. Especially when he did it *right* before company arrived. Or Christmas Eve. Or even on the last day of vacation. There was this old farm house we used to stay in on the Cape. I have memories of walking into the kitchen, while everyone else was busy loading up the car, only to find dad on his hands and knees washing the floor. Always leaving the house cleaner than when we’d arrived. I one time asked him why. He emphasized ‘so that it’s clean for the next person who comes.’ To him cleanliness and hospitality go hand in hand

Personally I never understood it. That’s what mops and Swiffers are for, right? Besides is anyone even going to notice it?

But the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and today I found myself on the kitchen floor, scrubbing each tile by hand. I’ve swiffered this floor numerous times, But this is my last week in this house. I wanted to be sure that it was cleaner than when we came, a little act of hospitality for the new students who will be living in this house in a few months.

As I scrubbed each tile I thought of St. Therésè and her little way, her little acts of love. And then I thought of all the ways my dad has loved our family, and friends, and strangers, over the years — love masked by the mundaneness and mess of washing a floor. And I prayed for the new community that will be here, that they might grow in holiness and serve our Church and love.

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