By Jeff Miller, District Superintendent
As you know the Bible is relevant to all aspects of life. Did you know that the Scriptures speak about changing diapers?
“Behold I tell you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” I Corinthians 15:51
Okay, the pun isn’t original to me. And for any of us who have, or have had, little ones, we’ve experienced the reality of children who won’t sleep when they should and who seem to need their messy diapers changed relentlessly.
But maybe it is good to be reminded that we are not so different in our need for care by our heavenly Father. In his book, Every Moment Holy, Douglas Kaine McKelvey writes prayers for just about every circumstance of life. His goal is for us to be more prayerful overall, as well as more active in prayer during times that we might not naturally think to commune with Abba. Listen to one of McKelvey’s prayers that we too can raise to Father while changing a dirty diaper:
“Ah Lord, what a mess
we sometimes make of our lives!
What a tragic comedy
is even our most sincere attempt
to merit righteousness on our own.
We are no more able to render ourselves holy
than this infant to keep itself unsoiled.
I am dependent upon your grace
and your own righteousness, O Christ,
to justify and make me clean,
as this little one is dependent upon me
to wash the residue of filth from its skin,
wrapping it again in soft and freshly-laundered
garments. Let me not be frustrated
by the constant repetition of this
necessary act on behalf of a child.
Rather, let the daily doing of this
be a reminder to me,
of the constant cleansing and covering
of my own sin, that I – helpless as this babe
and more often in need—
enjoy the active mercies of Christ.
Being compared to a helpless child who messes himself and needs complete help to clean up and move on might feel a bit humbling, yet it seems to me to be extremely accurate. We all know when a little tyke with a messy diaper is mindlessly strolling around the room. The smell usually wrinkles our noses. Yet time after time, even the aroma wafting from our own lives is far from the ‘sweet smelling savor’ referred to in II Corinthians 2.
In our Central District priorities, we state that we are ‘desperately dependent upon the Holy Spirit.’ At times, people have questioned me about the word “desperate”. They wonder if maybe ‘desperate’ is too strong of a connotation. McKelvey’s prayer reminds us that ‘desperate’ is not even remotely an overstatement. Jesus stated that “apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15) He meant it – for all aspects of life.
So next time I walk by a nursery at church or pass a mom with her massive carry-on bag full of baby stuff or sniff the hint of a loaded diaper entering into my airspace; I’ll pause to thank Abba that, like a little child, I can come to Him with my mess and hold up my hands to Him. Then He will lovingly lift me up and once again change and cleanse me, making me once again grateful for the undeserved mercy of a spiritual ‘wet wipe’ and the grace of divine ‘baby powder’ to freshen and soften the journey.