Dirty diapers and difficult decisions

“Boo, boo!” my 2½-year-old son ran up to me screaming. He was frantically clawing at his diaper, squirming and jumping up and down as if something were biting him! But I knew better. We were then in the throes of potty training, and “boo, boo” from Jackson meant “Poo! Poo!” This is the catchall term he used any time he filled his diaper with a present for Daddy—lucky me!
However, in this case I knew that it was SERIOUS! The back of my son’s pants were sagging badly, and his bottom—and back—were wet!

The Back Story

At this point in the story, I think some background information would be useful: my son loved (and still does) all things fruit. My wife and I worked very hard (and still do) at eating healthfully and treating our bodies as God’s temples. We have therefore rightly called my son a “fruititarian.” The word does not exist in the dictionary and is trademarked by me. Furthermore, if you use it, you have to pay me, Omar Miranda, a quarter—just wanted to make that clear.
Moving on: the day before, Jackson had inhaled multiple servings of fruit—one of those being prunes. Now, Jackson also loved bread and cheese. We allowed him to eat a lot of fruit because usually the bread and cheese mitigate the normally disastrous results. Jackson also loved to sit on my lap and eat my fiber cereal. He didn’t eat it every day—usually just Sabbath and Sunday mornings, when I was able to be with the family for breakfast.

D2 Day!

Fast-forward to the incident that I will call D2 (Diaper Disaster) Day. The morning of D2 Day my son had had some fiber cereal with me. I didn’t think anything of it. We ate, tickled, kissed, made silly faces, and just generally enjoyed each other. The day went on, and Jackson asked me for some prunes, so I gave him some. Then he wanted an apple, and then some raisins. And then right after lunch, I was cleaning up the dishes and, well, you know what he said. 

I picked him up as carefully and gingerly as I could, already thinking about how I would deal with the disastrous results of his efficient and apparently powerful little digestive system. I ran to the bathtub and placed him in it. I literally peeled his shirt and pants off him. Then I took a towel—I had to do the laundry that day anyway—and wiped him off as much as I could. I then proceeded to take Jackson to his changing table, aka “decontamination area,” and win my Daddy points for that day. 

Cleaning Up The One I Love

I prepared myself for the worst! I quickly tried to take off my son’s diaper. He allowed me to undo one side of the diaper but began to cry and scream hysterically when I tried to get the other off. I was confused. I tried forcing it off, but my son just grabbed my fingers with his hands and twisted them backward—that hurt a lot! So I in all my wisdom began to explain to my son why he should let Daddy take off his diaper. I picked up a clean diaper and some baby powder and began my own rant: “Jackson, look what Daddy has! That’s right, it’s a clean diaper and some baby powder. You have a nasty, stinky booty, and Daddy wants to clean you up. I know that you don’t want to be yucky. Just let Daddy clean you up, and then you’ll be sweet and clean and we can go play.” 
My son wasn’t buying it. In fact, he stopped crying, looked me dead in the eyes, locked his knees in the fetal position, and screamed, “No! Mine!” I was beside myself. I didn’t know what to do. I was becoming really frustrated. I thought to myself, Why isn’t my son letting me near him? He’s the one who initially came to me and told me that he was dirty. Why is he being so stubborn? He’s acting like he can do this all by himself, but he can’t. He’s too small. All I want to do is to make him clean, but he won’t let me!

Pistol-Whipped By God

At that moment a little voice in my head said, “Now you understand!” God had pistol-whipped me—spiritually, I mean! It was like I finally got it. 

It took another minute, and my son finally allowed me to change his diaper, and we went on with our day without further incident. But what God taught me still resounds with me.

Forget the romantic notion of God speaking to Moses from the burning bush or speaking to the Israelites from Mount Sinai; no, God got a hold of my heart right there in front of my son’s changing table! It took my son and me battling over who would have control of changing a dirty diaper. I am a recovering sinner, and like all sinners, I have a hard time letting go and letting God. I constantly struggle with my will. 

Lessons Learned

I learned three valuable lessons that day, and I would like to share them with you:

  1. Knowing that I have sin in my life doesn’t make it go away (Rom. 3). My son informed me that he had a dirty diaper, but that didn’t help the filth to be cleaned, did it?
  2. I can’t clean myself up, no matter how much I try or how much I want to (Rom. 5:8; 6:23). 
  3. God can want for me to get clean all day long, but until I decide to stop fighting and let Him clean me, it won’t happen (Rev. 3:20).

I hope you’ve learned some powerful and important lessons about giving God your heart and will. The apostle Paul said it best when he said, “I die daily” (1 Cor. 15:31). Even when we don’t know what to say or how to say it, we can still ask God to help us to give Him our heart and mind every day. Never forget that God is in the business of changing and saving people!
Let God change your dirty spiritual diaper…and let Him—day by day--keep doing it.