When I think about traveling, I often think about toilets. I know it’s a bit strange, but I have done a lot of traveling and seen a lot of restrooms, public and private.
Sometimes, when I use a public restroom at a local theater, a line or two of stalls will remind me of being on the road.
Or I am at a friend’s house and she did something similar in her bathroom design to what I saw in another house a thousand miles away. I picture the distance between the two rooms—and think about traveling.
I know it is an odd connection, but do you ever think about how many different bathrooms we use during our lives? In airports; subway stations; on trains; in hotels and stranger’s homes?
I don’t know if it is a Monk thing. It isn’t like I freak out when sitting on a strange porcelain or plastic seat. You close the door to a stall in a queue of them like an apartment door in a complex. You are in a very small and limited world of your own.
There is no contact, unless you’re passing toilet paper. There are shoes and ankles, socks and voices—and always the whoosh when someone has successfully completed their transaction. I’m not listening for all these noises; they just happen to be there when the my mind goes still.
Sometimes it gets quiet in the bathroom. Maybe that’s because I am a mom and the bathroom is one of the few places in my house I can close the door and have a moment—or more—to myself.
No one can see me behind the door—except God. And that’s ok. I must admit it feels a little strange to think that even on the toilet God sees me and hears me.
Sometimes I feel a little odd when I try to talk to Him there. It’s like talking on the phone when I’m in the bathroom. I can’t do it. I know the caller can’t see me and would never know I am in the bathroom, but I just can’t have a conversation there.
I remember when my daughter Bonnie was young she became mortified when I told her that Jesus had to relieve Himself in some fashion or another. She didn’t believe me for a long time because it didn’t say anything in the Bible about Jesus using the bathroom.
I told her the Bible also didn’t talk about Jesus going to sleep every night, but He did. He ate like everyone else. And when His body digested—well, then—He had to relieve Himself like everyone else, didn’t he?
Jesus came to earth as the Son of Man as much as the Son of God. And that meant He experienced our humanity—even in ways we don’t think about much.