The Dirty Diapers of Life

In six weeks, a new-born baby probably dirties at least 300 diapers.

Because we’ve decided to use cloth diapers, every diaper changed also needs to be washed.  In other words, I’m spending quite a lot of time handling dirty diapers (just in case you might be wondering where the inspiration for this post came from).

Washing dirty diapers is not the most glamorous duty; however, I know that it is economical as well as better for the environment without contributing the extra 2,788 disposable nappies per baby per year to the total trash accumulated on the planet.  Still, somehow, it doesn’t exactly feel like I’m “saving the planet” while I’m sitting in the backyard scrubbing dirty diapers.

It’s humbling, to say the least, and, somehow, I can’t imagine anyone posting on Facebook: “Just washed seven dirty diapers again today…feeling awesome!”  However, I would like to share a few ideas why I think we’re missing out on life by not sharing our “dirty diaper” stories.

LIFE is not a series of memorable moments where we are all cleaned-up and dressed-up, neat and pretty, smiling at the camera.  It is also full of ordinary “dirty diaper moments” that we would rather avoid, hide, throw away, or forget.  We also choose to edit out the really stinky parts of life where sin has defiled us.

LOVE is not all moon light, roses and the fresh smell of baby powder.  It is all about the willingness to get up at three o’clock in the morning to change a dirty diaper – even if you are dead tired.  Love is unconditional and ready to meet the need.

HOPE does not ignore the dirty and smelly parts of life, praying that it will somehow stay covered up or disappear.  To hope is to know that something will change even if we have to confront it with soap and a bucket of water, trusting that the stains will come out and the garment will be made clean again.

CLEANSING requires us to cry out to God for help, knowing that our lives are messy so we need changing.  We can’t clean ourselves any more than a newborn baby can change his own diaper.  We need a power greater than bleach to take the stains of sin away and make us whiter than snow.  It takes the blood of Jesus.

Psalm 51:5-7 KJV “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…”

By not being honest about our messy lives, not admitting that we are sinners saved by grace, we pretend that we only have “neat and pretty camera days” which is a false reality.  We also make others feel ashamed and reluctant to share their “dirty diaper” stories.

We try to hide instead of sharing…cover up instead of confessing…and deceive ourselves rather than receiving forgiveness while missing out on the refreshing that comes from being washed and made clean.  How wonderful it is to be washed by the blood of Jesus, to be loved by our Heavenly Father, to be changed, and to be renewed on a daily basis.

We cannot share the gospel with others without first admitting that we need to be washed, and washed, and washed…again and again.

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