Bespectacled Calvert, a fervent lover of the Lord, does janitorial work at a posh office building in Bethesda, Maryland. He loves his job but lately he’s questioning his usefulness to the Lord.

Today is Calvert’s weekly fellowship with his friends and fellow laborers in the Lord, Josh and Peter. The trio meets at the Harmony Café in Suitland, Maryland.

Calvert slides his wiry frame into the booth beside portly Peter, the eldest of the chums.

“Guys, I’m having doubts about my usefulness to the cause of the gospel. I wonder sometimes if I’m doing effective service for the Lord.”

Peter reassuringly places his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “You sure are, Calvert. Consistently, your light shines for the glory of God.”

Calvert shrugs. “My confidence has taken a hit. I yearn for it to be restored.”

Josh adds, “We’re around you often, Calvert, and witness your steady walk with the Lord. Your doubts are unfounded, man.”

“Thanks, guys,” Calvert murmurs.

Peter slaps the table. “Let’s pray,” he offers.

The friends bow their heads.

“Father, in the powerful name of Jesus, we’re thankful for Your love, care and truths. It’s in You, Lord, that we live and move and have our being. We’re grateful for Your guidance, Father. Please direct for us all how You deem best and necessary. Strengthen our awareness, please, and enlighten the eyes of our understanding — for Your glory. Thank You, Lord, Amen.”

“Amen,” agree Josh and Calvert.

Cheerfully, Josh shares, “I firmly believe, Calvert, that Jesus is going to provide blessed assurances that you are indeed useful to His gospel missions.”

Calvert smiles, “That prayer sure did lift me, as does your care, guys.”

The friends hi-five.

Days later, at work, early in the morning before the office personnel are due to arrive; Calvert starts his duties in Suite 101. He walks into the office of Earl, aka the office grouch.

Flashback:

Silver-haired Earl has, on more than a few occasions, expressed disdain for Calvert; once he called him a lowly janitor.

Calvert has never retaliated against Earl’s unjustifiable opposition. Instead, Calvert has regularly prayed for Earl.

Most folks in the office steer clear of Earl. When his limping figure appears, people scatter. Those who work closest with him are eagerly counting the days to his retirement — in three months.

Return to present:

Calvert is stunned to see Earl slumped over his mahogany desk — an empty pill bottle near his pock-marked hand.

“Earl, Earl,” Calvert calls out as he shakes Earl’s immobile body.

No response.

Calvert rushes to call 911.

The ambulance arrives.

Earl is transported to United Hospital where he’s revived.

The appearance of Calvert in Earl’s office was instrumental in Earl’s life being saved.

The following day when Calvert finishes his shift, he goes to visit Earl. He walks into the hospital room where Earl’s daughter, Elaine and his wife, Pamela, sit by his bedside.

When he’d regained consciousness yesterday, Pamela had told Earl of Calvert’s helpful actions that made a considerable difference in the outcome of Earl’s condition.

When Earl spots Calvert as he enters the room, tears leap to his eyes. He reaches out to grab the hand of the man God had used to help him.

It’s indeed a treasured moment.

Calvert remembers these words spoken by his friend, Josh, “Calvert, I firmly believe that Jesus is going to provide blessed assurances that you are indeed useful to His gospel missions.”

A rush of gratitude to the Lord floods Calvert’s soul.

###

Life had overwhelmed Earl. His only son, Malcolm, is in prison. His wife drowns her sorrows in bottles of Jack Daniels. It had become too much for Earl to bear . . .

Aftermath:

Earl retires and soon after joins Calvert, Josh, and Peter for their weekly fellowship at the Harmony Café. Within months, he unites with the ranks of those who are Christ dwellers.

Malcolm is granted early parole and Pamela attends counseling to conquer her alcoholism.

Calvert enjoys the restoration of his soul by the ONLY ONE who can wholly do it — God, most High!

1 Corinthians 15:58 – KJV
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

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Sandra Hicks

Sandra is a native of Washington D.C. who joyously walks with God, and firmly believes in the steadfast flow of love and truth. She is president of a home-based business that specializes in writing, editing, consulting and retail sales of photo products. Her published pieces include essays, inspirational topics and stories, reflections, commentaries, and poetry. In January 2011, one of her inspirational pieces was selected as a Jewel Chest feature on a Christian website. Sandra enjoys photography and snaps shots often in her hometown of Washington, D.C.

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