From Sewage Spewage to Restoration

The day the drain pipe vomits up raw sewage all over the downstairs floor, it’s always at the most inconvenient time. Day in and day out, the pipes and laws of gravity behave, and without any praise, they hide the filth and contamination from a home bustling above. The day it spews its ugly stench, we try to make sense of it, and somehow fit the cleanup process in our schedule compounded with appointments, plans, errand running, laundry.

Because it doesn’t just affect the laundry room, but the whole house. The family room now becomes the storehouse of items displaced, the linoleum torn up, walls have to be carved out, an unsightly chunk of carpet is shorn with the craftiness of a kindergartner with scissors, the kids playroom is now the living room. But the most inconvenient thing of all, it messes with the very thing that’s most prominent, ready to take shape in my life. The creative room is being displaced, disheveled, scattered to higher ground while the room is taken apart, disinfected, laid bare.

Downstairs Remodel 1

When sewage erupts, yeah, it affects EVERYTHING.

Our lives are laid bare. Pain and sin they’re ugly, they mess up everything. The two are so intertwined in that mess of sewage, they’re often inseparable. Sin gives birth to pain, and then pain to sin, an endless tangled cycle. But everything that sin touches gets contaminated, ugly. We could sweep it up. Never tell anyone it happened, fill the room with brightly scented candles that is stronger than the stench. Then it becomes a time bomb, waiting for the inevitable moment to, spew it’s grime again. The washing machine provoked the pipe to spew, I just won’t use the washing machine again. Shh, don’t tell, burn candles, I’ll go to the laundry-mat instead.

Downstairs Remodel 2

The weekend it exploded at our house, we were leading a Leadership Intensive. The very weekend that I was being catalyzed into starting this very blog about the God-stuff, about the creative that won’t stop coming. It was the same weekend that our friend, a brilliant-engineer-mom, shared about the OmniProcessor.  The Janicki OmniProcessor “poop-machine” she helped to invent.  A project initiated by the Bill Gates Foundation, that turns raw sewage and purifies it into drinking water and electricity for the developing world. (watch the story and Bill Gates drink the purified water here)

And I listen to her talk about hope for the third world through sewage, all the while, my floor at home has become a hazard zone, filled with the very scum that is processed to become hope.

Downstairs Remodel 3

You see, it’s only when the pipes get clean, the scum source removed, we know it won’t happen again. It’s a pipe cleaning, blood transfusion, artery scraping, purification process. Oh, exposure is painfully ugly.   But the alternative, glossed over scum, will back you into a room of sickness and disease.

Exposure and the purification process are the door to restoration.

The poop that just interrupted a life ordered and primed can actually become the key to our upgrade. The OmniProcessing–God, takes our filfth, our shame, our scum that we are desperate for no one to see. And He sees. If we let Him burn us, purify us, in the life called process – we have a drink for the world thirsty and broken.

Downstairs Remodel 4

Downstairs Remodel 7

A year ago last spring I started dreaming about a renovation to our vintage ’78 home.

I never thought it would look like this.

Downstairs Remodel 8

Downstairs Remodel 5

If we let Him process us, there is a promise waiting: the larger the mess, the greater the upgrade. My God, He’s actually into messes, up to His elbows in filth to clean-us up messes, my God is the Omni-Processor, Restoration Master.

“I will make you pure from all your sins. On that day I will settle you in your towns again, your broken down houses will be rebuilt…I the LORD have built what was destroyed.”   Ezekiel 36:33,36


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