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Glimpses of God Through a Messy Diaper

Our son is just more than three months old.

Every day his personality emerges a bit more as he masters or starts to develop some new skill.

By new skill I mean giggling, cooing, rolling over to his back, holding his head up or keenly following an object with his eyes.

As parents we are constantly on the lookout for all of those developmental firsts.

For instance, with our first two daughters we have captured on video their very first, unaided footsteps – and we intend to capture that same moment for TJ in another nine months or so.

Additionally, in a few short weeks we’ll begin introducing him to solid foods – that’s another critical marker

To non-parents, I can see where they might roll their eyes at marking such achievements because everybody “walks, talks and eats.”

It’s a valid point in some regards.

I mean, what kind of a parent gets excited over a messy diaper?

This one.

When we first brought TJ home from the hospital I remember being nearly giddy over a consistent string of poopy diapers.

Obviously, it wasn’t the mess that was elating. I was excited because the dirty diaper demonstrated that our son’s digestive system was functioning properly AND that he was getting enough nutrition, which translated to the fact that he was progressing and growing.

I guess, to an outsider it seems silly to make a fuss about such “milestones” – but it’s not silly at all.

In fact, it can be quite profound when considered in the light of scripture.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

While I don’t fully understand the transformative effect in my spirit that will enable me to see God and be “…as he is…” – I do know that I want my own son to be like me. Along the way he’ll become uniquely his own person – but still he’ll be like me.

I’ll do everything I can to help him develop toward that goal.

Right now, he doesn’t understand that – he’s a baby.

Similarly, I don’t fully understand my spiritual progression. But I’m sure that God still delights in my halting steps and spiritual gurglings.

I hope my spiritual development continues with the same certainty of my son’s physical maturity.

Until then, I’ll take it one diaper at a time.

Question: What’s a developmental milestone you have achieved mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically in your life?


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  1. I was getting worried you were falling prey to pareidolia- and were going to announce the various images you discerned in the remains of the diapers…
    Thanks for going in a different direction.. (Pun intended…)
    Glad to hear TJTJTJTJTJTJTJ is going strong and love the picture.

  2. Bonnie Anderson says:

    Love your title here, Tor. And you close with great advice – Take it one diaper at a time.

  3. Watching our 2.5-month old Isabel Juda ‘evolve’ has come with several God-Moments. It’s an incredible experience and I understand your joy, Tor. God bless you and your family.

  4. God never tires of cleaning up our messes, right? And the fact of the matter is: there are glimpses of Him everywhere–if we but look.

    Glad your little guy is growing healthfully. ;-)

  5. Beautiful and wonderfully said. I wish I was as appreciative of every facet of my babies progress, years ago now. At the time I couldn’t see the wonderfulness of it all. And now that I do ~ I’m well past those baby stages and miss them dearly. Continue to treasure them all!

  6. Jennwith2ns says:

    Don’t underestimate a childless person’s ability to resonate with this. I used to be a nanny. :-)

    Also–the messy diaper analogy might also be spiritually encouraging when we feel like we’ve messed up, too; hopefully it means the spiritual “waste” is gradually being eliminated. Right?

  7. Ah, to be grateful for the dirty diapers. That is a wonderful thing! Thanks for sharing the joy that is your son.

    I was never as continuously grateful as I could have been for the hallmarks of health and growth: the ability to talk (ceaselessly, especially at bedtime), the ability to walk (up the stairs again-gack!), and the ability to eat solid foods (she’s eating the dog food again!).

    My hope is that my calmer, more experienced and grateful nature will make me a great Grandma when that day comes!

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