by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
What a hectic week this has been. A water pipe broke inside the wall. The plumber came and made a loud and ongoing mess. “Ongoing” means that the whole apartment was covered with a fine coating of dust and he has to come back at least a few more times before it will be finished. The kitchen and dining room got the worse of it, but nothing was spared. Even my shoes were covered with a coating of fine, white powder.
I cleaned up most of it, but knowing that he had to come back I wasn’t so fussy. I was rushed so I didn’t clean my shoes right away, thinking to wait until he finished before polishing them. I ran off to the Kotel as usual.
While I was helping at the tefillin stand, I had a little run-in with the Arab who was sweeping up the litter. Inconsideration is one of my pet peeves. I just don’t like it. How selfish it is to throw trash on the floor anywhere, but at the Kotel it is unbelievable that people can be so unaware.
While I was bringing a Jew to the stand to put on tefillin, the cleaner went to sweep up a piece of paper by my foot and actually let his filthy broom brush along the bottom of my clean pants, socks and shoe! I yelled at his rudeness, but he just smiled and shrugged it off.
A half-hour later, the same guy came back and did it again! I quickly looked at him to see if maybe he was doing it on purpose. I had two choices: I could blow my stack (which I briefly did) or I could say, “I’m here every day for over twenty-two years and this has never happened to me before, and now, today this rude guy has put his fifthly broom on me twice! What is going on?”
It wasn’t until some time later that I figured it out. Hashem was helping me to clean my shoes. He was so kind to actually send someone over with a brush to dust them off.
From my perspective, G-d was just showing me His love by brushing off my shoes. But maybe He was saying, “You don’t go to the Kotel to pray with dirty shoes.”
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא