This past Sunday, I gave a talk on service. (In which I embarrassed my wife, as usual.) Then I took our 7 month old to the bathroom to do the dirty work of changing her diaper. (before anyone gets impressed that I am such a good dad and husband, Iâ€™m not. Iâ€™m the guy who starts to gag and almost pukes when I smell poopy diapers. I do them when necessary, and take the wet ones strategically so as to be able to hand the baby off on poopy ones. In short, Iâ€™m a wimpy jerk) The diaper changing table is in the only stall in the menâ€™s room at our church.
The smell caught my attention. The toilet was over flowing. It looked like someone had thrown a large plastic bag (or possible a t-shirt, it was hard to tell from the material) in the toilet and then, judging by the look of the toilet, 5 or 6 people had gone to the bathroom and used the toilet to disastrous results.
My first, entirely stupid, response was my desire to call maintenance and tell them to come clean it up. It was stupid because this is the church, there is no maintenance. My second thought was to leave it, but thatâ€™s what everybody else had done, hence the disastrous results. This is my church, after all. My third response was to remember my baptism, and how, as I came out of the font, and went into the adjacent bathroom, the first thing I noticed, after I had put my glasses on, was that I was standing in somebodyâ€™s poopy diaper, wet and barefoot. In fact, it looked like said poopy diaper had been used to mop the floor.
The end result was the same, Last Sunday, I went and grabbed a plunger and a trash bag and used the trash bag as a large glove to pull the crappy bag/shirt out of the toilet. On the day of my baptism, after the well wishers left, I went into the bathroom and scrubbed the floor.
I could wrap this up with some sort of impressive and clichÃ©d â€œpoop happens, and look at my good example of how I chipped in and dealt with itâ€ but that would also be a load of poop. Remember, Iâ€™m the guy who avoids poop diapers.
Hereâ€™s the question. Why does poop happen?
I’m not talking about theodicy.
I mean, who throws a big piece of plastic/t-shirt in the toilet? Who sees a toilet full of crap and then uses it anyway? Who takes a diaper off their kid and just drops it on the ground? Judging by how much poop was all over the ground, who later steps on that diaper and tracks the poop around the church on the bottom of their shoes?
I know and understand that the church is not for perfect people, but maybe more churchâ€™s need signs on the stall doors like that one I was laughing about Saturday from the Ghana MTC.
I also know and understand that the missionaries perpetually meet people with [bad manners] and bring in people from that culture to try to assimalate them into “Mormon culture”. But how do you do that? How do you crack [bad manners people have developed all their lives]?
Maybe I’m just expressing frustration at how far we are from where we need to be (how far I am from where I need to be.)