Holy in the Daily

Blog posts to help women over 50 face their challenges with clarity, confidence, and resilience.


Join over 800 women on my email list who applaud my FREE eBooks and refreshing, actionable lessons.

Poop, People, and Looking Like Jesus

baby playing with a book at Holy in the Daily blog

People are not the cleanest mammals. They tend to make messes throughout their lives, and living with them isn’t always fun or easy. A positive attitude can disappear when faced with cleaning up a big mess.

Recently, 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)
  • John 13—the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and then instructing them to wash one another’s feet.

Memories flooded my mind, as often happens during my morning devotionals. I remembered walking into the bedroom of my little daughter and finding her crib smeared with the remains of a filthy diaper. Like a princess, this smiling toddler sat in her crib equally covered with the remains of the same diaper.

The second visual was 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 with a positive attitude. I was very thankful.

I will continue to make messes for God to clean up from birth to death. Some of these messes will be life lessons as when my toddler explored 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, God cleans me up, and His family helps scrub my dirty laundry and my dirty feet.

Do you nurture a positive attitude when 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?

(If you wonder which of my six children was the toddler in this story, you can check her out at: https://www.maryweber.com/.)

In Him together, Susan Gaddis

Share this post with your friends: 

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. mary

    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

    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

    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

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

  5. Beth Piepenburg

    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

    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

    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

    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. 😀

  9. Susan Gaddis

    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!

  10. Susie Adamson

    Well, taking care of the physical needs of another adult when they can’t isn’t for the weak. Taking care of my parents and inlaws was tough. However, the value of it wasn’t just what I did for them, it was what God taught me in the process. I am a different person than I was for having done it. I am so grateful that I could do it, it was the best experience of my life. Now that’s not to say I didn’t get tired and burned out at times and grumble, but it was extremely rewarding. It changed the way I think about things. I KNOW they are all in heaven and I will be with them again and I am looking forward to seeing them all.

    1. Susan Gaddis

      That’s a wonderful example, Susie. And very honest. Hope giving. Thank you for sharing it.

Leave a Reply