Mrs. Rose was a fellow worker with Cobb for five years in the janitorial service department of the Texas Department of Public Service in Austin. John scrubbed the floors; she cleaned the toilets. John depicts her as one who has faithfully done a servant’s work (alluding to our willingness to wash feet, John 13:1-17).
But, as Dr. William Penn noted in his review of John’s work several years ago, the meaning is deeper still. He wrote, that Mrs. Rose is “not a simple verbal expression of piety–‘Yes, I am serving the Lord.’ It is the image of a strong women who suffered much and spent the daily hours of her working life year after year in humble service of others’ most basic needs; she was not merely serving the DPS, but the people of Texas, who the members of the DPS served. Her image is an icon, a sacred image of Christ, the Godhead in our midst, who came not to be served but to serve.”