Blog Archive

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Poopy Pants

Today's post is for the blog carnival hosted by Bridget Trumbley. Click the link to visit her for more posts on Self-Control.

Poopy Pants

“I gotta go potty.”

The words came from my then four-year-old child, some years back at church camp. We were traversing the complex for tent meeting. The beginning strains of music could already be heard. With me towing a baby in stroller, family Bibles, and coloring books for young ones, I was determined to reach our destination and leave the entire entourage with Daddy before turning back for the errand. I sighed.

“We’ll go in a minute.”

“I gotta go now. I can go by myself.”

Children love church camp and permission to roam among trusted companions over several acres rather than several rooms. Potty was about the only reason the four-year-old was permitted out of my sight. Another sigh escaped me.

“Okay. Go straight to the bathroom and come right back.”

My youngster dashed off. I completed my trek to the tent, explained a child’s absence to my husband, and settled in for the evening. About the time I began to wonder about the four-year-old’s whereabouts, a friend advised that my little one was by the pavilion.

Annoyance at such loitering fueled my hasty steps back. I soon caught a glimpse of my child, sitting with chin in hand. I drew close and noticed the look of abject misery.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

Young eyes staring at dirt did not move. But my nose detected the explanation my child could not manage to articulate. A glance toward the bathrooms was met with the “CLOSED FOR CLEANING” sign which explained everything.

I felt horrible. I’d not been there to explain to someone that we needed admission. Or to give my little one encouragement with “you can hold on for a few minutes.” Or to locate alternate facilities.

My fingertips pulled a small face upward until shame-filled eyes looked at me. “You couldn’t get in the bathroom and pooped your pants?”

Chin quivered. Tears began. Disgrace forced the face back toward dirt.

I pulled that face into my bosom—way better than a tissue for drying tears—and spoke softly with my lips against fine hair. “It’s okay, honey. These things happen sometimes. We’ll clean you up.”

I didn’t really want to clean up both of us. But some things are more important than staying clean. So I picked up a smelly body against myself, pulled a head onto my shoulder, and offered gentle words as we returned to our camper, visited the shower, then finally slipped into our seats.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
~ 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NKJV)

Like an infant with no cognizance of poopy pants, we do not realize our sin at first.

Once little ones understand that poop doesn’t belong on people, they want to be shed of poopy pants. Our sin also becomes a stench when we gain God’s perspective of it. Whether we are slow or quick to gain self-control, we gain desire to be free of sin altogether rather than have to clean it up afterwards.

Pride does several things. It sees Self as smelling good and quite accomplished. It points one finger at the baby in poopy pants and uses the other to plug the nose. It uses words like “now” and “by myself.”

And sometimes, a situation overwhelms us when we lose self-control. We are ashamed to wear the stench of sin. We don’t want to face our Father and may isolate ourselves. Yet we have no ability to deal with sin apart from Him.

He’ll find us. He’ll not fail to love us and hold us close, though holy God abhors the stench of sin. If we accept it, He’ll cleanse us.

And if we stick close to the Lord, He knows an alternative or gives the strength to have self-control in unexpected situations.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

Your feedback is appreciated. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. I will forever praise Him for His cleansing blood.

  2. I accept! I'm so thrilled to be clean. It's difficult to stay that way, but I'm trying.

  3. What a beautiful illustration! So true that the closer to God we get, the more aware we become of the sin that is messing us up. We are so blessed to have a loving Father who cleans us up time after time. :)

  4. "Sticking close to the Lord"...that's where I want to be.

  5. Down with poopy pants! Up with being cleaned! Nice story, Anne ... :-)

  6. It's a wistfully sweet story, Anne, told only as a mother could. Or a heavenly Father, who'll clean us up in the shower, too.

  7. And that He brings us into Himself anyway! Only a God like ours.

    Sending love,

  8. So glad He lifts us from the "dung heap."

  9. Thanks for the powerful reminder of God's love and care for us Anne! I needed to be reminded of that today ...

  10. Great analogy here, Anne. Wonderful reminder. Thanks!

  11. Thank you for such a thoughtful post on the meaning of self-control.

  12. Denise ~ Indeed. Whatever sin I still walk in all too often, how grateful I am for cleansing.

    T ~ The point is not to feel overwhelming shame, but to simply turn to a loving, waiting Father.

    Deb ~ Wouldn't you think He'd get tired of us? His patience and love are ever humbling.

    Jeff ~ How good it feels to be close enough to stand in the shadow of His wings. Even His shadow is Light.

    Russell ~ Hi Russell. Go God!

    Glynn ~ "Wistfully sweet"? Ah. Thank you.

  13. Wendy ~ He's SO holy? How did Jesus take on our sin? I just can't imagine how awful that was for One so pure.

    Susan ~ Yes. Quite literally. The mire is far worse than we might think.

    Patty ~ Grateful—absolutely! Is there anything He'll ask that's too much? Never. (Lord, remind me I said that when I hesitate.)

    Kevin ~ Thank you. "Love and care." Boundless. *sigh*

    Jason ~ Thanks. I've been mulling over this memory for several days. I didn't have room for all the ways the metaphor might be applied.

    Maureen ~ Thank you for stopping in. : )

  14. I love this story, Anne. Thanks for bringing the word to life.

  15. Oh, I cried. And envisioned Him carrying me.

  16. Wonderful story, Anne.

    "If we accept it, He’ll cleanse us."

    Absolutely beautiful!

  17. What a tender story. and what a great illustration of what we need to 'be'.

  18. Rosslyn ~ Back when I started doing devotional writing about seven years ago, I always started with a story, gave it a life application, then led into a spiritual application. It's harder to do all that and keep blog posts short enough.

    Bud ~ (*sputter, laugh*) I might have chosen another verb, considering the post title ...

    Sandra ~ Yes, I know there are times I feel His arms. I was having one of those days today when it seems nothing goes as planned. As I collected myself to head into the evening's activities, I sighed and thought that someday, when those arms are physical, I'm just going to cling to Him and cry because I've finally made it.

    Bridget ~ Thank you. And thank you for hosting the carnival.

    Louise ~ I'm certain there's some parallel here between this story and Jesus' washing the feet of fisherman who walked dung filled streets.

  19. A very good illustration of what we all go through at different times... and being held in His arms, cuddled against His chest, when we are less than "perfect" is a delightful way of viewing our relationship with Him and His joy for us.

  20. caryjo ~ "Cuddled against His chest" is my ultimate dream. I think of the song "I Can Only Imagine" and wonder myself—after I'm on my face before Him, will I be able to touch Him, finally feel His arms? Or will I be too busy dancing. Good enough that for now, He really does hold me in His arms, even if I feel it only in my soul.


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