We read in Hebrews that “Christ is faithful as a son in God’s house.” (Heb.3:4) – I think that must include the toilet!!
I remember a young man who has journeyed with us closely in community saying one day that the experience had changed his naive aspiration to ‘be a leader’ “I have come to realize it is often an unpleasant and uncomfortable, task – this Christ-like leadership!” he confessed.
Last week the Big Green House basement was flooded with Big Brown Water – or ‘poop water’ as the grandkids laughingly called it! It was no laughing matter cleaning up (helped by Aaron, pictured above) but I did smile as I recalled an early experience as a ‘leader’ in the early days of community in Belfast, getting an emergency call to one of our women’s households.
“It’s a blocked toilet!” declared the damsels in distress. Having tried every other option I realized the only thing to do was to roll up my sleeve and literally reach through the brown matter to remedy the situation.
I smiled again as I then recalled one of the first jobs I took when we moved to the U.S., somewhat disorientated. I’d left a career in medicine, our family, friends and homeland. All we knew was that each morning we should “pray and obey” (nothing has really changed!). I was lead to take a job cleaning toilets at night in a local store. Again I recalled how with my hand down another toilet in the ladies restroom I had the epiphany, “There is nowhere I would rather be and nothing I would rather be doing than this ….knowing I am a faithful son seeking to be about my Father’s business – no matter what that might be!”
I exploded spontaneously in exultant praise right there and then!
Human dung represents the Adamic turd-itions that Jesus said make void the living word of God….man’s way of figuring things and fixing things. (Mk.7:13) When this Beast nature is our operating system we rely on our soul, i.e. what I think, what I feel and what I want. The basic motivation of a Beast however is fear based, self preservation which distorts our perception.
When we come alive in the Spirit and reconnect with our Father God, the “SEA of our being” ceases to be fear and becomes the nature of God – love.
Our soul then begins to be subservient to our/His Spirit, as what matters is no longer my opinions or emotions or desires but what Father thinks, feels, and wants.
This transformational journey is beautifully expressed by the 18th century hymn of Gerhard Tersteegan.
“Thou who fillest all things in Thee living moving, evermore are we
Shoreless sea unsounded, mystery and wonder, sinks my soul in Thee
I in Thee, no longer bound in self’s dark prison
And the life that moves me fills me – Christ arisen!”
…..or in the words of a more recent songwriter;
“In my Father’s house rivals long forgotten
In my Father’s house Him alone to know
In my Father’s house wonder without ceasing
As loves endless sea breaks upon my soul
Jesus You alone are my holy passion
Blood and fire and water ravishing my heart
In my Father’s house I’ll be always singing
Of this fairest one, how He took my part.”
Blood represents what Jesus, “this fairest one” did as the quintessential servant King who gave his life….
TO CLEAN UP OUR MESS!
This becomes our inspiration as we follow our bridegroom through the testings of fire and water to become as He is.
I wrote last week about our friend Lois going to serve with the Hurricane Harvey mess clean up. She laughingly told us yesterday that her colleagues give her the nickname, “Lois Lane” !!! (If you haven’t made the connection – check out last week’s blog!)
As I finished off this blog, and walked out of my study, Hilary exclaimed,
“Oh no Paul! I forgot to clean the toilet for our guest coming this evening!’
“No problem Dear…… I’ll get it” I said immediately……….well, after a very brief pause : -)