Anyone who has traveled with a ministry type team for any length of time and stayed with families who (very generously) open their homes to overnight guests will be able to identify with this: there are things that will remain a great mystery about the host homes.
I traveled 2 summers during my college years - one was a 10 week tour, the other 8. Two summers with at least 7 other people in a 15 passenger van, traveling from church to church. It was a GREAT experience, one I wouldn't trade for anything. I LOVED IT, I learned a lot, mostly about myself and areas that really needed to change, but I also was able to learn a lot about churches and geographical differences and inner workings and about individuals and their fabulous differences. Many, many blessings, and many, many mysteries.
For me, one in particular was this: shower mysteries.
Now, I have kids, our family is busy, and I understand - sometimes, there are just things that need to be cleaned that totally escape our notice. And right now if you came to my house for an overnight visit you would find many, many things that need attention. Including a ceiling fan that I may or may not need a spatula to help remove the dust from.
It's been almost 10 years since I traveled, and I still hesitate to write this, but I truly do think it's kind of funny, so I hope you will understand.
It is a mystery to me why people would invite college students to stay at their home as overnight guests and then *not* clean the shower. I'm not talking about "there was a little lint on the shelves up high" or"someone forgot to get their hair out of the drain" or "there was soap scum on the walls" and then I'm sitting there whining about it. Ohhhh, no. I'm talking about "there is a 1/4 inch thick brown scum on the bottom 6 inches of the tub and enough hair to make a rug." If you think I exaggerate, please, ask my teammates. They will validate my stories.
So after a few of these scary showers, my trusty companion was a bottle of rubbing alcohol (for germs) and a nylon mesh scrubby with a handle (for scum). I scrubbed a lot of showers for 2 summers, and you know what? I still use the same style of scrub brush. I LOVE it.
One of the adult sponsors found out I was scrubbing showers and came to talk to me about it. I reasoned that if the people didn't notice the shower was dirty, would they really notice it was clean?? And aren't we supposed to leave things better than when we arrived?
I'm really not obsessive about showers, I promise. In fact, I'm writing this because just this morning, I got out my Comet and my beloved scrubby (for the first time in a very long time) and, after some minutes, realized that the little textured ovals on the floor of our bathtub really DO come clean, and they really don't need to be a pale beige color; instead they can be the same greyish white they were when said tub was new.
And seeing my bathtub sparkly from a little elbow grease (okay, a lot) and my beloved scrubby (although you might be glad to know it is not the same one from 2001) brought back some great memories of summers gone by, and I thought that you would want to know.
I do still have nightmares of that one particular shower.