Two weeks into owning a puppy and I must say, it is much harder than I could ever have thought. Oh, I've had dogs before and we even got them as puppies, but let's be honest, I didn't do the work. Yes, the work. My mom did. I was at school for the bulk of the day and would come home to play with the puppy, nap with the puppy and whatever else fun you do with a puppy. I didn't pick up it's poop though. Or clean up it's pee. Or walk it multiple times a day. Or discipline it for chewing on everything from my hands to the carpet.
Walking Hailey daily has proved to be good for both her and me. She gets some exercise of both her legs and nose. I get rest when she comes home and sleeps afterward. Every time I'm out though, someone stops me and coos "She's so cute!" There are two boys on my street that freak out about her every time she comes down the street. They sit down and let her lick them and they love it. "She's so cute!" People will cross the street to exclaim, "She's so cute!" She is so cute, but that's only half the puppy picture.
The other half is picking up her poop when on walks and when she decides to poop in the house. The getting up in the middle of the night to let her out, because she can't hold her bladder all night. The nights where she cries in her crate all night and you don't sleep at all. The work that goes into taking care of her. Training her. Caring for her. Loving her. It's work and it's not always joyous.
I realized that this is a lot like the Christian life. The work behind the appearance. The picking up of poop behind being cute. The dealing with sin in private and displaying grace in public. Too often these are separated and not lived out. The poop-scooping is hidden. Sometimes it's just left to stink and attract flies. Too often we just put forth our cuteness and hide the crap. I've become convinced recently, though, that we shouldn't bisect our lives in such a way. But that we are to live genuinely bearing our sins publicly to one another to display the grace of Christ more fully.
After all Hailey can't separate her cuteness from her poopiness, why should we?