Feet and Butt

Some things can not be mentioned delicately, so I’ll just come right out with it: the bounce house where my nephew had his birthday party this past Saturday smelled like feet and butt.  It took me a few moments to sort out the aroma, but once I did it was unmistakable.  What was a faint smell as I stood watching my children having all sorts of inflatable fun was an assault on my olfactory senses once they persuaded me to join them.  It’s a good thing that my gag reflex has been reduced to nothingness by having to deal with dirty diapers for 9 years in a row.

I should have expected the smell of feet and been ready for it.  A bunch of sweaty kids running around minus their shoes is going to produce a pungent odor even if all of the kids present were wearing clean socks.  And they all weren’t wearing clean socks.  In fact, some of the socks looked like they had never seen the inside of a washing machine.  This includes the socks my kids had on even though I know that we put clean ones on them before we left the house.  This is just my luck; finding out that my kids have superpowers only to discover that their superpowers are that they can make clean things become disgusting in a matter of seconds. 

The feet smell was understandable; it was the butt smell that caught me off guard.  I don’t suppose there is a more disconcerting smell in the history of smells than the smell of butt.  No matter where you smell it or how strong it is, once you smell it you can’t un-smell it.  What I mean is that once you know it is there you are unable to not know it is there.  It wasn’t an overpowering smell, it was more of a lingering aroma would not leave me alone. 

What did I do about the smell of feet and butt?  I dealt with it.  I supposed that I could have run away from the smell, but then I would not have had the enjoyment of watching my kids play or hanging out with people who I love.  If I wanted the good I had to deal with the bad.  And the good can overcome the bad.

This is also true in a local church. 

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25

There is no shortage of negative words being spoken about local churches or church services.  There are people who seem to think that it is their mission to tear down church-goers and pastors for all that we do wrong.  There is plenty of truth to what they have to say.  All too often neither the Church or individual churches are all that they should be, all that they could be.  I understand the frustrations because I share many of them.  I just don’t understand giving up altogether; not when there are still so many good things that come from being a part of a church that is trying to follow Jesus.

Grace.

Hope.

Love.

Fellowship.

Transformation.

Encouragement.

And

So

Much

More.

The good can overcome the bad if we are willing to let it, if we will open our eyes and see it, if we are willing to overlook the faults of others and focus on Jesus.  If you have given up, try going back.  If you believe that the church you left is too far gone and that there is no hope for you to plug back in there, go somewhere else.

And if it smells like feet and butt, take a quick look around.  You may have taken a wrong turn and ended up in a bounce house.  Especially if you keep hearing a song that urges you to do the Macarena.

(Have you ever smelled feet and butt?  What do you think about the Church/local churches?  Are we overcoming the bad with good?  Share away!)

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28 thoughts on “Feet and Butt

  1. Feet and butt? That’s a classy smell.

    What’s sad is that sometimes we smell the feet and butt and are looking at others with a face of disgust and the smell is actually us (whoa!). Yeah, those are for people who see the bad in all things without doing nothing about it. I don’t have a problem with someone saying, some things are wrong here, how can we change things and go back to the way it should be. But the problem is people say, “that’s wrong” and walk away. That’s way too easy to do.

    Now, I have to go check my shoes and underwear! 😀

  2. I totally agree with Moe. In my church, people have left and never come back because they didn’t like this or that or someone ticked them off or there was a problem with whatever. What we need to be doing is saying, “Ok this is broken. Let’s fix it.” And more importantly I think we need to remember, we are not perfect! But we serve a perfect Christ.

    • It goes back to our commitment level–if we are committed to sticking it out and making it work, we will. If we are committed to our own happiness and to not having to work hard, then we won’t.

  3. I think getting involved in a church is the best way to overcome the bad with good. I don’t think I could ever go back to the church I grew up in, but I have found a place that, while certainly not perfect, has taken as its motto: A Grace Place, and we try, more than complaining all the time, to live up to that motto.

    • A Grace Place–I like it. One of my mottos has been: If I am going to err, I am going to err on the side of grace. And I agree that being involved helps tremendously because you are able to help make the changes that are often necessary.

    • Feet and Butt. LOL. Love the directness of that.

      I feel that Kristin is right here–I think so many people see ‘bad’ in churches today without getting involved. They come, check-out, and make generalizations without getting to know, or serving with, the people at their church.

  4. Matt, it’s hard to imagine you not getting a ton of comments with a title like “Feet and Butt.” I gotta admit, the Jr. higher in me really wants to come out and say something. But I’ll stifle him for now.

    You are correct – many times our movements and churches and organizations have gone from entities that exist to help people just make it smell really bad. And I have to own that, too. I’m part of that system. I’ve been too busy to help someone who was in desperate need. I’ve been judgmental of the person who does things different than the way I would have done them. Thanks for calling it what it is.

  5. So true… This is an area that I feel very strongly about. The following series of questions always enters my mind when I hear someone criticizing the Church:

    How can we justify criticizing something if we abandon it and are not part of an effort towards a solution? Oh, I know we still do unleash our negativity at whoever will listen and some who won’t…but in that situation what is the greater of evils? A church body who makes a few blunders? …or… A body member who rejects and condemns the body?

    Along the same lines… As Christian individuals are we upholding our witness and faith if we return wrong for wrong? If we feel a church body has wronged us, does that empower us to wrong them?

  6. we complain about everything.
    just try to go one day without complaining.
    i can see many things wrong with what humans have done with the simple practice of gathering together.

    i have written about it and thought about it…

    however, am learning that saying or writing a thought about anyone in a judgmental way is often in opposition to the power of God.

    there is something wrong in everything.
    we must bring to everything, the Spirit of God.

    looking forward to some fresh air and sunshine…
    and
    you have reminded me that i need to do some house cleaning.

  7. Very good analogy! That’s one I’ll definitely remember. I think you’re right-people quit on their churches because they’re not perfect, and church hop trying to find one that is. But as it is with all things in life, there needs to be a balance. Sometimes you do need to leave! My family and I left a church that just really wasn’t meeting our needs. (As selfish as that sounds.) The pastor was nice and we were treated well, but the Spirit of God just felt like it was missing. The sermons weren’t helping us grow. So we went to another church an hour away from where we live, and I love it! I didn’t know how fun and life-changing a church could be until we started going to the one we’re at now! We’ve been there I think five or six years now, and it’s not perfect, but there’s no way I’d consider leaving.

    But yeah, you need a balance. Some people are never happy!

    • No doubt that leaving is sometimes necessary. It is the ones who leave, criticize, and never put themselves out there again that I am concerned most about, I guess. Also, I have heard some say that God is leading them somewhere else and then they never go anywhere else except for their couch.

  8. A whole post about feet and butt, and not one mention of toe cheese? I’m disappointed! 🙂

    Seriously, I love how you bring the seemingly-unrelated together in such powerful ways!

    Keep rockin’ it, Matt! You are gonna blow-up huge (in a good way)!

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