Recently my dog found some shit in our yard—not his, we had an overnight visitor—and during his morning bathroom break, he decided the best thing to do would be to roll around in it. And then come back in the house smelling like rancid puke and try to cuddle with everyone he loves.
We tried to call our groomer but she wasn’t in that day so we (meaning Chris) had to give him a bath in the tub. Of course, we didn’t have any dog shampoo since we pay other people to bathe our animals so we had to make a run to the store first. So Blue got to spend some time in his crate, soaking up his own stink.
When the smell was gone and replaced with calming oatmeal goodness, I posted a picture on Instagram of cute little Blue in the bath all suds up. He looked sweet and innocent and it was almost enough to make me forget about the garbage smell he spread around our house all morning.
One of my friends commented on the photo that at least it wasn’t one of the girls that found the mess in the backyard. Or my husband. It kind of made me laugh, in an evil way, to think of Chris covered in animal poop in the backyard.
And then, because my mind and God work in mysterious ways, I started thinking about all my shit. Not literally shit, but my mess, the mess that I carry around every day. And what it would be like if it was visible, how my world would change, how different people would treat me, how my relationships would change.
My shit is food. And I wore that around, visibly, for years. My shit is spending too much money, wanting too many things. My shit is a short temper, a tongue that destroys more than it builds up, and gossiping. And while we all have shit, we don’t have to wear all of it around in public. We get to pretend we’ve got it together. We can pretend other people’s problems are not our problems. Because it’s easier and less messy that way. And no one is offended by our smell because we can keep it under wraps.
If I had to tell every person I met, right after meeting them, what my shit was, I think it would change how I handled, or didn’t handle, things. I might work on it more. I might be more mindful of my words, of my attitude, or my thoughts. I’d be more ashamed of it and more eager to change.
But for the most part, I’m not.
Maybe I’m supposed to be more like my dog: wearing my shit on my sleeve, so to speak, so that it’s uncomfortable, that it makes me sick, that I long for change. Being more open and real. Vulnerable. Needy.
Things I don’t like the sound of. Things that make me uncomfortable.
I’m praying for an open heart and mind, asking to see my shit the way God does, the way he hates my sin, but loves me far more than I can ever fathom. I want to desire purity and goodness and light and cleanliness instead of being apathetic and full of excuses.
There’s my shit. What’s yours? Are you working on it?