“Mom,” Aaron quietly said as he was getting ready for bed, “my toilet is stopped up.”
Aaron dreaded telling me this. It was the third time in a few days that he had managed to stop up one of our toilets.
And this third time was NOT a charm, but instead was a huge mess. I could have gotten Gary to do the dirty clean-up.
“No,” I thought, “I can do this…yet again.”
I did think a few times that I really should have called Gary. UGH!!
This was an opportunity for me to practice the patience that God is trying to teach me. And to…once again…school Aaron on the proper treatment of our toilets.
Why do these things happen so often at night when I am most tired?!
You know, being a caregiver of any sort can be exhausting. Being a mom…a homemaker…the one responsible for the needs of whomever is under our care…has its many moments of humbling work.
Special needs or other health issues certainly add to the mix a new level of care.
And a new level of seemingly lowly service.
Because face it, cleaning stopped-up toilets or throw up or wet bedding is not exactly something to write home about.
Even as Christ followers, we envision that the far-away mission field is more glorious and honoring than the dirty work we often do within the walls of our own home.
Not long after this third toilet episode, as I lay in bed reading, I felt compelled to check the FB page of my favorite author, Dale Davis.
His son had posted this piece. I hope you will read it slowly and fully.
“When Mary was not nursing her son, she placed Him in an unused feeding trough (of wood or stone) right next to her…But a feeding trough! Let us never be surprised at the humility of God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks (Question 27) Wherein did Christ’s humiliation consist? Its answer begins: ‘Christ’s humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition…’ Its scriptural proof text for that ‘low condition’ is Luke 2:7. In a feeding trough, needing a mother’s breast and a change of diaper. How very incarnate the incarnation is! And yet what encouragement is here. For if Christ stoops so low, to such a ‘common’ level, does this not sanctify all that seems common and ordinary and unimpressive in the lives of His people? To be quaint and go back a few years–the weaver laboring at his loom, the farmer putting up hay, the mother cleaning her oven, or the teacher tutoring her ‘slower’ student in reading, the accountant preparing tax returns, the pastor reading in his study, the doctor diagnosing a perplexed patient. Jesus’ feeding trough suffuses all the glamorlessness of our callings with a touch of His humble glory.” (Dale Ralph Davis, “Luke 1-13: The Year of the Lord’s Favor”, pp. 46-47)
Tears slid down my cheeks. For Christ, who stooped so low to be born in a dirty animal cave, and laid in a feeding trough, does sanctify and will honor the grimy and the mundane work that I do…even if I do not see the results of it.
God has always chosen to use the less than exciting places and people and moments in order to draw attention to His glory.
Jesus’ mother, Mary, was a very young teenager in a town that was looked down upon by everyone. She and Joseph were poor and unknown. They were no doubt the subject of malicious gossip because of Mary’s pregnancy. Then Jesus was born in the humblest of places with no great fanfare. Mary and Joseph had to escape to Egypt in order to survive Herod’s wrath.
And all through Jesus’ ministry we see Him using the most common people in the simplest of places in order to proclaim His message.
How can I wonder if He is doing the same with and through me?
I have no doubt that many of you are feeling like me so many times – like I am in a rut of caregiving and for WHAT?
But may we not allow the allure of the world’s values concerning glamor to be ours.
May the touch of God’s humble glory turn our glamorless callings into moments of praise and joy.
And may we be grateful for every stopped-up toilet as we see it through God’s eyes…an opportunity to share in His humility and to give Him glory.