This past summer I had the opportunity to serve at a Young Life camp in Canada. One of the jobs I, and everyone that worked on a dock and the sweet souls on housekeeping, was “bird poop patrol”. So every once an awhile on bird poop patrol we got to take spray bottles and rags and scrub the bird poop off of the dock. And for some reason there always seemed to be an abnormally large
amount of really really gross bird poop. Like a whole lot.
When I would hear “BPP” I wasn’t exactly thrilled...I would wiggle my hands into blue latex gloves, grab the orange cleaning spray and my stained and fraying rag and get down on my hands and knees to put a little elbow grease into each scrub. Although pretty gross, there was something so sweet about the quietness, evident progress and light yet satisfying labor in the job. It was a place no one really wanted to be but it was a place that not many got to be. It was a place where you would see the fruits of your own labor with each scrub. It was a place where it was just you, a panorama of mountains, a spray bottle, rag and waves lightly swaying the worn dock. It was the place and dwelling of a powerful gentle presence...in the place no one wanted to be.
At times it was easy to think the labor was pointless knowing the dock would need cleaned again within the hour...but I began to love BPP because it was a time of stillness and evidence of a holy presence.
One day during bird poop patrol, I was thinking about Heaven. And a precious image came to my mind...it was Jesus dressed in white, cutting down thick brush and pulling weeds. He was dripping sweat. He was preparing a place He for me.
Getting to scrub docks of bird poop was one of the greatest honors I will ever have. It was the dock that maybe kids would meet Jesus on for the very first time. It was the dock that could give kids a glimpse of the place Jesus is preparing for them. It was the dock that maybe kids would witness Jesus dripping sweat cleaning out everything in the way between He and them in order to get to their hearts. What an honor it was to prepare a place for a glimpse of what’s to come...a glimpse of Heaven.
Jesus is most present in the places no one wants to be. Those are Holy places of His gentle whispers and ground-trembling power. Those are the places where we get a glimpse of the hope that’s coming...we get a glimpse of the care He is putting in to the place He is preparing for us.
“There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going."
Run to the places no one would choose to be...whether that’s scrubbing bird poop or doing laundry...you’ll find Him there, dripping sweat and cutting down everything standing between you and Him.