You work in beauty, even out of ugly things.

                There have been several times over the last year that I have thought about starting a blog to share some stories about what I’m learning and seeing God do in my life and in our world. When this happened today, I just wanted to share it.
                I personally definitely think that God has a sense of humor, and I think this story supports that idea. I’m at home at my dad’s house for Spring Break, and he was gone for the weekend, so I went over  to my mom’s last night. My dad is frequently gone for the weekend, so he has this ingenious plan of caring for our dog, Sampson, by leaving the garage door cracked open (propped by a ten pound dumbbell), and an automatic feeder full of several days worth of food. Before I divulge the details of this story, a little on Sampson.
                Sampson is a miniature dachshund. My family adopted him when I was in first grade. I am now in 16th grade. You can do the math, he is an old guy. He always has been a little grumpy, he also makes a vast and frequent assortment of noises, and has always been freakishly obsessed with this little blue ball, and in the last few years has lost all his teeth and become partially blind and deaf. Naturally, I adore him. These days he sleeps most of the time, but when he is awake he bounds around the house playing with his ball and loudly demanding to be fed. He even gets several snacks a day now, the spoiled brat.
                So does my dad’s ingenious plan of propping the door and using an automatic feeder work for this old dog? Debatable. When he first started applying this clever plan, it seemed that Sampson would indulge in eating several days of food in one sitting. My dad would come home to a fat, bloated dog lying in the middle of the floor, with the automatic feeder tipped over in the kitchen. Lucky for him and for us, Sampon seems to have learned his lesson and has developed some independence over the last few months. However, today I was not so lucky.
                I came home from a fun and long day shopping with my mom at the mall. I came in through the garage door, carefully removing the sheet tacked to the door with a small hole for Sampson to get in and out. I stepped inside, and immediately observed a foul smell. I hear Sampson barking, turn on the light, and am immediately horror stricken. It seemed the old guy had either had an upset stomach, or forgot where the back door was (which is entirely possible given his age and visual impairment). He had pooped in every downstairs room. This includes the kitchen, dining room, living room, parlor, and entry way. And not to go into too much detail, but many of them were not nice poops.
                Naturally, as any girl would when confronted with something gross or scary or to do with fixing things, I called my dad. He sounded exhausted at the prospect but told me he’d clean it up when he got home. After texting several people expressing my outrage at this lovely welcome, I decided I needed to go on a run to get away from it until my dad got home.  (My run was not real pleasant because I realized halfway through that I had to go to the bathroom, TMI, sorry. Ironic, eh?)
                When I got home I went upstairs to escape. After I sat there for a moment though, it suddenly sank into my consciousness. My father, who has done so much for me, has spent the weekend helping his wife move out of her house, after a hard week of work. He has cleaned up many times after Sampson, the dog that I love.
                I just kept hearing the question in my mind, “What does Jesus call me to do?”. As I surrendered my desire to evade poop, I felt a strength coming on that I could conquer this. God was going to do a work in me, in something as silly as picking up after a dog.
                I went downstairs, blasted some peppy music to try to make it seem more fun, and got to work, praying under my breath as I picked up nuggets. After a few minutes, I was singing along with the music, talking to Sampson, and feeling my spirits lifted. I just kept thinking about all the verses and songs expressing how God works his beauty in ugly things. If anything is ugly, it’s certainly dog poop smeared all over the house. Yet, God was doing something in me through this. He was giving me an opportunity to lighten my dad’s load. To treat others like I would want to be treated. This was certainly not an idea of mine to clean up the poop and actually enjoy this task, it was an opportunity the Lord gave me to bring glory to Him in this ugly situation.
                As I was cleaning, the song “Everything Glorious” by the David Crowder band came on. It says “You make everything glorious, from glory to glory, you are glorious”. Our awesome God can even make dog poop all over the house into something that brings glory to Him, and grows and encourages His children.
                I’ve heard people say God has a sense of humor, and that definitely came through to me tonight! Good one, Father. But seriously… even though this was a minor (but gross!) ugly thing, what other ugly things have you seen God make beautiful? What situations in your life that have been difficult have been redeemed into something better than they ever could be? I hope this story encourages you to surrender to the Lord in these awful situations and let him work in you and through you. Because though things can be crappy (ha ha…), He is always good.

You Work in beauty, even out of ugly things is from "You Do All Things Well" by Tenth Avenue North 

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