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Blog: Lee Younger

Knowing What To Do

CCC Oak Ridge

Warning: The following essay is rife with content that is graphic in nature, which may disturb those who have a weak constitution. The experience described is commonplace for parents of young children, but has the potential to shock those who have not undergone the various trials of parenthood. I have recorded the experience with what I believe to be a redeeming spiritual insight or two which I hope will edify the reader, so you may choose to read on, or stop right here. Either way, you have been warned...

Fortunately, it was bath night, so I was already intending to dunk Norah into the tub. I had already given Jack his bath and had taken him into his room to dry him off and get him in his pajamas when I heard Norah scream. It wasn’t her loudest scream, but it was troubled and I could tell as soon as I heard it that she was on the verge of crying. I left Jack sitting on the changing table and rushed into the bathroom to find that Norah had diarrhea, but had not made it to the toilet... the poor girl was standing there not sure what to do. It was on her clothes, on her and all over the bathmat. I called out to Christy for help with Jack so that he didn’t take a swan dive off of the changing table and rushed back into the bathroom to sort out the you know what.

I managed to get Norah out of the rest of her clothes and onto the toilet. I managed to start the new bath water and I managed to comfort Norah, I think. The situation was fairly under control with the exception of one huge factor: I had no idea how to handle the bathmat. I mean, I knew it needed to go into the washing machine, (if not the trash can) but what to do with all the excess stuff? I felt like I need to get rid of that first before I could head to the washing machine, but I was at a total loss. I was thinking hard, tiptoeing around the problem with the grace and skill of a ballet dancer. Norah watched me with wide eyes and said, “Dad, be careful. You don’t want to get any poo on your socks!”

Finally Christy finished with Jack and came to check on us. I just looked up and said, “I’m not really sure what to do at this point.” I have to pause the story here and say that this was one of those moments in observing motherhood that filled me with awe and thankfulness for my wife. Without hesitating, without even blinking, she said, “I know what to do” and got to work. In the blink of an eye she produced a cup out of thin air and started scooping up the offending spot. In about two seconds, she had the problem solved, Norah in the bath, laughing and singing, and the bathmat in the washing machine, soaking in detergent and oxy clean. I had a meeting at church that night and by the time I got home, Norah was sleeping peacefully in her bed; clean, happy and at rest. The bathmat was back on the bathroom floor, clean as a whistle and Christy was on the couch paying all the bills with a smile on her face as if nothing at all had ever happened.

What!?

When I think back on that little scene, I am reminded of our Father in heaven who always knows what to do when we’re sick with sin, stuck, confused, helpless, upset and dirty. I think about 1 John 1:9 which says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I think about Zechariah chapter 3 when the High Priest Joshua stood before the Lord covered in dirty clothes with Satan on his right side accusing him. Joshua didn’t know what to do! He was helpless and stuck, but the Lord said, “Take off his filthy clothes... See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.” Just like a mother in the midst of the mess, our Lord knows what to do and He has done it! And we rest at ease in our beds on the other side of mercy, clean and at peace.