You might remember that last Friday, I casually mentioned that I had spent 2.5 hours cleaning up dog doo in our backyard. I shoveled enough to fill 25, yes 25, bags of crappage into the plastic Target bags that decorated my lawn. I then shoved them into a trash bag and it weighed so much that it still sits in the back, awaiting the muscles of my manly and studly husband, JJ (flattery does work when you want the job done).
We don’t normally have 2.5 hours worth of crappage to pick up. It’s just that the snow recently melted and since we have pretty much consistently had about four inches of it on the ground and it’s been colder than frigid, the hubby and I really didn’t go out much to do our job of clearing the yard.
But alas, the temperature has been rising and the snow is now gone. With that came the desire amongst my squirrely and cooped-up children to get out of the house already. I was right there with them.
Except when we went out, it was horrid. I will spare you the details. I am certain you can imagine.
I sent everyone back inside and parked them in front of “Fireman Sam” while I went about the process of cleaning.
I didn’t think it would take so long but everywhere I looked, there was another pile.
It was absolutely disgusting.
As I got over the initial grossness of what I was doing, I moved along, one pile at a time. I channeled Anne Lamott, my favorite writer of all-time, from Bird by Bird but instead of seeing my task as “bird by bird”, it was “pile by pile.” I’m sure Ann would be moved.
My mood deteriorated the longer I worked on it. I grumbled about our beloved family dog, Ellie, and wondered if we should get rid of her. Never mind my love for her gentle soul and the fact that she follows me around obsessively if I am crying until I stop. Or will nuzzle my arm in an attempt to get me to smile. Never mind that.
I openly said out-loud this was the most disgusting task I have ever undertaken. I began to create a pity party for myself and I was the only guest invited.
I love being a mother. I don’t always love the other stuff that comes with that job though. I am not overwhelmed with excitement when I see seven loads of laundry that need to be washed, dried, folded and put away.
I am not always a cheerful cook for our family meals.
Trying to keep clutter at bay in my home is a full-time job within itself.
Blah-blah, blah-blah, blah-blah.
That’s when it hit me.
I have been preparing to speak to my MOPS group on the topic of my spiritual journey and how God has worked in my nutso-ball life (click on the “Life Story” page above to read the first two installments) so my head has been filled with more faithful thoughts than normal. It’s really how it should always be but that’s another post for another time.
It occurred to me that as I am complaining about having to pick up all this crappage, 25 bags of it to be exact, and thinking of how much other stuff I have to do that I don’t necessarily enjoy, I was maybe being a tad bit of a super-whiner.
I am certain that Jesus did not always enjoy what he had to do.
Now let me just state for the record that I am in no way suggesting that I’m even remotely on the same plane as Jesus because just to type this makes me almost laugh so hard that I might have to get up and use the loo. And I’m not even British.
But a great teacher he was and was so relatable because he was human. I found myself relating to Jesus. Over dog poop. Proof once again that He will use ANYTHING, anything at all to get our attention and teach us a thing or two.
A friend of mine recently mentioned the scripture of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples before the last supper. I had not thought of this passage in a while and her story brought it back to my mind. (John 13)
In Biblical times, feet were offensive. I don’t think anyone went to Le Nails for pedicures back then because NO ONE touched anyone’s feet. They were unclean. Dirty. Tainted.
Yet here is Jesus, the Lord, the Savior, who had men that followed Him and worshiped Him, washing the feet of his disciples. And one of the pairs he washed belonged to the man that was hours away from betraying Him. Can you imagine? He washed the feet of the man that would ultimately be responsible for killing him on the cross. And more extraordinary is the fact that He knew this was about to happen and knew who would be responsible.
Now if that didn’t just humble my dog-poo-picking-up-laundry-doing-meal-cooking self, I don’t know what will.
We live in a different time (which is good because have I ever mentioned how much I love pedicures?). I have heard people comment that the Bible is “just a history book”. I see their argument though I don’t agree with this view.
However, application from that history book can still be experienced more than 2,000 years later. We may not literally be washing each other’s feet but figuratively?
Hopefully, we’re doing it every day.
We wash another’s feet when we smile at them when we make eye contact. We wash our family’s feet when we do the loads of laundry, prepare the meals, PICK UP THE FLIPPIN’ DOG POO. We wash feet when we say “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?”
Anytime we do something we don’t want to do that is for the greater good, we are washing feet.
May our neighbors, our family, our friends always have clean feet. And may we do it with a serving heart.
Not like the heart I had when I was picking up the poo, please.