WARNING: explicit bathroom humor.
I’m **almost** embarrassed about this post. I **almost** deleted it. But then I thought about my Great Sadness and the people who said things like this to me (well…not exactly like this, but kind and hopeful things). I hated them for it at the time, all “you don’t know me!” …but it eventually got stuck in my head, choked up my throat and flowed down to my heart… because hope is catchy. (And so is a good poop story.)
I used to live in South Boston. The locals called us yuppies. We called it Southie. I’m not sure what the locals called it because, well, they wanted nothing to do with me. Southie is a land full of adventures. A land in that unique phase of gentrification where the local::yuppie ratio is about equal. Where you will find a dog boutique across the street from a pawn shop. Or M Street Park, where by day, you can find single girls in neon spandex walking their dogs and by night, you will be pelted with crabapples by local preteens who can make you cry with just their words.
Every person in Yuppie Southie (north of Broadway and East of L Street) owns a dog. And that dog poops everywhere. Is this the work of a single, lazy dogwalker? Is it some sort of community demonstration to procure more public trashbins? I couldn’t tell you, but the sidewalks, otherwise pristine, are littered with tiny landmines.
It’s disgusting, just like this blog post will continue to be.
Walking to work one fall morning, doing my daily poop-dodge polka routine, I came across one particular pile that gave me pause. It was deposited in such a position on an overpass that I had no choice but to pass by it directly. For the love of Tina Turner. I was torn between revulsion and astonishment at its sheer girth. What sort of beast could have produced this? Had a cow escaped from the ironic farms in Jamaica Plain and wandered here in search of real grass? Were the local homeless taming wolves for protection?
It was beyond my comprehension.
As the weeks passed and I continued to make my morning commute past this massive dump, I developed a disgusted fascination with it. I couldn’t help but notice its gradual deterioration. As winter swept in, burying my morning intrigue under feet of snow, I’d pop my headphones in, swaddle myself in wool and tromp off to work. Shake it off. That was so weird- so weird! Never tell anyone about that. And yet, when spring came and the snow melted I was amazed, incredulous, almost giddy. It’s still there!! I wanted to alert passersby, take an Instagram, light a candle. Like a feeble pansy who survived a harsh winter to bloom again in fragile defiance, I felt the need to celebrate this plucky little turd. How did you do it??
It had been reduced to mostly straw (confirming my escaped cow theory) and as the weather continued to warm, forcing me to glide to work, airing hands on hips to avoid a total sweat situation, a tiny flower sprouted and bloomed at the very center of the pile.
It was like a fairytale that sanitation workers tell their kids.
Fairytales have morals and you should have seen this one coming. You have maybe already guessed it.
If it hasn’t happened already- there will come a season where your life seems like an impossibly massive pile of mystery beast poop. Maybe you’re in the middle of your poo-pile season right now. I want to say this to you – just so someone is saying it to you – it will go away. It will probably last longer than you like. It will get less poopy without you realizing it, until someday you’ll look around and realize its mostly gone. And you’ll be so, so thankful. And then someday – maybe a week later, maybe months or years later – you’ll see it. You’ll see the asset bloom. You’ll see the way a Holy God works evil for good. BECAUSE HE PROMISES THIS and you can feel free to call Him out on that.
You’ll see your trials fertilize your growth. You’ll see your biggest mountains (har-har) transformed into your biggest ministry. Because we’re part of a family – we’re children of God. We use our brokenness to heal each other, to sit in the trenches with each other, to point one another toward wellness and compassion.
Not because life with God is rainbows and unicorns and eternal sunshine. No, our world is broken and He never said it wouldn’t be. But He promised to be near to the brokenhearted and He promised that we have purpose. Because He doesn’t throw time or people away. If you feel stuck in it, He’s simply not done with you. Your story is not over yet. Lift up your head.