Poop, People, and Looking Like Jesus

baby playing with a book at Holy in the Daily blog

People are not the cleanest of beings. They tend to make messes throughout their lives and living with them isn’t always fun or necessarily easy.

The other day I came across several Scripture passages that immediately triggered two memories—Psalm 51:7, “Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry” (Message Bible), and John 13—the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet and then instructing them to wash one another’s feet.

Memories flooded up as often happens during my morning devotionals. The first visual that popped into my mind was of walking into the bedroom of one of my small children and finding her crib smeared with the remains of a very dirty diaper. Like a princess, this smiling toddler sat in her crib equally covered with the remains of the same diaper.

The second visual was of my dad sleeping in the facility where he eventually died. He looked peaceful and comfortable in his clean pajamas and fresh bed linens. Dad had people who cared for his messes, and I was very thankful.

From birth to death I will continue to make messes for God to clean up. Some of those messes are a result of my learning about life just as my toddler was exploring her world and my dad was learning to let go of his. Other messes are more grown up, which makes them without excuse. Either way, it is God who cleans me up and his family who helps to scrub my dirty laundry and my dirty feet.

How good are you with cleaning up people’s poop and washing their feet? Not a real tidy question, but a necessary one to ask. If you want to look like Jesus, ya gotta get into the messes of people’s lives. Care to comment?

Oh, if you are wondering which of my six children was the toddler in this story, you can check her out at: www.mchristineweber.com.

In Him together, Susan Gaddis

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    9 Responses to Poop, People, and Looking Like Jesus

    1. mary says:

      Oh very lovely, mom :-). Heheheheh… And appropriate (in an odd, slightly disturbing sort of way) when you see my blog post today…

    2. Lilly Green says:

      Ooh, yucky! But you know, another kid’s poop would be an ordeal. So many messes–puke on the bed and wall in the night, for example–aren’t so bad because of love. When you love so deeply your very own child, it just is a mess not a horror. I’m glad God loves me!

    3. Susan Gaddis says:

      Oh Lilly, I can so relate. But most of my messes are with adult type people. And it does take love to keep the perspective of “mess” not horror at any age!

      Mary, we really must be mother and daughter. Salinger’s toilet—really?!

    4. mary says:

      Hey, I don’t make the news…I just report it. ;-S

    5. Beth Piepenburg says:

      Babies, the sick, the handicapped, and the dying elderly need assistance. However, when the rest of us make messes in our life, we need to clean our messes up and not expect others to do so. Spiritually speaking, some messes we have to give over to God. But the human side of things is our part.

    6. Susan Gaddis says:

      Well, Beth, spiritually speaking, sometimes people need help cleaning up their messes. That is one of my many jobs as a pastor and one I find very fulfilling. And I’m thankful for those who walk with me and help me out when I get myself messed up.

      On a physical level, I’ve also appreciated those who have come to help me clean house when special guests are arriving or painted my house when it was very much needed. So in both arenas, physical and spiritual, I’m grateful for friends who clean up messes that are not their own, but mine.

      Blessings to you. :-)

    7. Beth Piepenburg says:

      Yes, I agree sometimes our messes might be ones that we need others to help us solve. But I was thinking of SOME people that move on hoping their messes will disappear. That’s becoming more of a problem as our culture loses character and many of our young people just haven’t had the mentoring.
      Well, most people don’t come over and clean or paint my house – that’s the blessings of all the stress you deal with as a pastor. LOL But I can relate with those who helped me with my school like Tracy and others years ago, or my Mormon friends who watered plants or cooked food when Steve was having surgery and on the mend.

    8. Daniella says:

      Oh boy. I’m glad I haven’t had a toddler instance like that yet! But I recall one night when a dear friend came over and “vomited” her problems all over me. It was messy to help them clean it up (and it took a long time to get the stench out of my nose). I’m one of those people who loves to help others with their problems, but sometimes I make their problems my problem. That’s why its so important to remember to put on my spiritual hazmat gear: my armor, so none of their crap sticks to me. :-D

    9. Susan Gaddis says:

      Beth, it is hard to see people who move on and leave their messes out for everyone to step over. Doesn’t enlighten my day, that’s for sure.

      Dani, that was one visual aid. Loved it! And I will not forget to put on my spiritual armor every again!

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