The Slop Bucket

1 08 2011

Yucky doesn’t even begin to describe the bottom of the slop bucket. I just got back from a week at camp. It is always a time in which God’s presence penetrates even the most ordinary moments. I see Him in sun-soaked grins, hear Him in night time whispers, watch Him work in mailboxes, and feel His nearness in the busy tempo of the camp kitchen. But I never thought I would find Him in the bottom of the slop bucket.

For the uninitiated, a slop bucket is a container used to collect the unused liquids after a meal. When the kids are done eating, they pour any leftover milk, lemonade, soda, juice, water, and even syrup into the slop bucket. It saves us from leaky trash bags and makes kitchen cleanup a little easier. But it is yucky.

After emptying the slop bucket at the edge of the pasture, the KP kids bring the empty, dirty, stinky slop bucket to the kitchen to be rinsed out before the next meal. That is where the slop bucket and I meet. I am the cleaner-outer. It is my job to make sure the slop bucket is ready to go for the next meal.

Pushing up my sleeves, I turned the water on as hot as it will go. I took a deep breath, and then regretted doing that. The slop bucket has a nasty smell to match its yucky appearance.

Sticky, slimy, smelly, I started scrubbing. I grimaced at the mess and prayed for open eyes.  The realization of how God was at work in the slop bucket stopped me in my tracks. The slop bucket is a picture of my heart. The yucky slime that sticks to the bottom is the sin that sticks to my heart. Jesus is the Cleaner-Outer. He scrubs, scours, sanitizes, and sterilizes every inch of my heart to make me clean, new, ready, and useful.

My Jesus Resolution today is to remember the lesson of the slop bucket. Jesus makes me clean. His blood washes away the yucky messes I leave behind. He deals with my misplaced motives, selfish attitudes, greedy appetites, and faithless focus with a tenacity and love that should leave me in awe. He scrubs me clean, makes me new, and reminds me that I am meant for better than the world’s leftovers.



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