Apple crumble and ice-cream doesn’t quite taste the same when mixed with poo. That’s why Sunday lunch ended somewhat abruptly yesterday. We were enjoying eating outdoors and all was going well, and then we heard them. Sam looked up and commented that they were coming our way. And then came the splats as we were dumped on by a flock of seagulls, choosing to visit our table with poo from heaven. Not only did we have to leave our puddings, but some of us had to change our clothes too. I knew that included me as I’d felt a direct hit on my shoulders. On my favourite polo shirt.
Ever got pooed on? Actually it’s been a while for me. Last time a sea-gull got me it landed right on the top of my head and I had real difficulties getting it out of my hair… Nice.
My car always seems to get targetted too. And of course it always happens just after I’ve washed it. Why is that? Is it just my car they aim for, or is that true for everyone? I read in Metro recently that Halfords have just done some research which shows that red cars are more likely to be hit by bird poo than any other. (That’s good then – as we’ve just changed our people carrier for a silver one.) For the cleanest ride, the best advice, appropriately, is to go green – that’s the least likely colour to get smeared. The report said theories abound on motoring and social networking websites as to why birds are attracted to pooping on some cars more than others. Some drivers say red signifies danger – clearly to a bowel-loosening degree.
Of course in some cultures getting pooed on is a sign of favour. If you’ve seen the film Under the Tuscan Sun you’ll recall that Diana Lane’s character gets a dumping whilst trying to negotiate the sale of a Tuscan home she can’t really afford, resulting in her getting the property. The Italian vendor clearly saw it as good luck.
So was our lunch-time experience yesterday just a matter of ‘luck’? I don’t think so. I find it really helpful to know that in all events of life, no matter how small (Matthew 10:29-31) or how large (Proverbs16:9; Jeremiah 29:11) there is a loving God at work. Of course many things happen in life that seem pretty random, and there are some things that I hope to get fully explained in heaven, but nevertheless life is not just a series of chance events. There is meaning. There is purpose. As I helpfully read the other day: ‘From an earthly perspective, things may seem to happen at random, but throughout the whole of Scripture, it is clear that God is in control of all of His creation and is somehow able to take the random acts of natural law, the free will of both good and evil men, and the wicked intent of demons and combine them all to accomplish His good and perfect will (Genesis 50:20; Job chs 1 & 42; John 9:1-7).’
That gives us a new way of looking at life when things can’t be easily explained or when life gets tough. Rather than thinking that there can’t be a loving God, or that he’s punishing us, it should cause us to throw ourself on him, and ask for his help and his purposes to be worked out, as we follow him. That’s why St Paul says (Romans 8:28) that followers of Jesus can ‘know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him’. That gives a whole new perspective. Even on poo from heaven.