It Smells Like Something Died Back There

I didn’t think anyone would notice. I tried not to.

My car. Little Beastie. I made her Little Stinky.

I wanted to help out a friend who’d just had surgery, so I decided to take her a meal. A comfort meal of homemade chicken soup. The kind you simmer for hours, chop vegetables till your fingers are numb. Grandma’s recipe.

Not wanting to create more problems by giving it to her in need-to-be-returned containers, I poured the soup into large aluminum pans. Covered with foil.

And put them in the trunk of my car because it was flat.

On the way to deliver the meal, I hit a pothole. A rather large pothole. Didn’t think anything of it,

Until I opened the trunk.

Much of the broth had sloshed out of the pans. A distinct smell. Homey. Not unpleasant.images-3

When I returned home, I cleaned it up a bit. Soaked up the dampness. Sprayed bleach over the area.

We were on our way to a soccer game the next day when my granddaughter said, “I need to roll the window down. It stinks in here.”

It did. Obviously. But I thought if I ignored it no one else would notice.

Mentioning the stench made it more obvious. Syd’s “I think I’m going to get sick” comment made me notice my own nausea.

images-4When I got back home, I attempted to alleviate the smell by pouring white vinegar over the area. Liberally.

Do you have any idea what stink on stink produces?

I tried natural remedies for odor. Febrezed the whole trunk and vents. Nothing worked.

So I’m living with the stink.

I don’t learn quickly. Another friend just had a baby. The soup actually was such a success that I made another batch for her family. Poured it into aluminum pans. Covered it with foil. Placed it on the floor on the passenger side in front. On a cookie sheet.

Just in case.

Driving to deliver the soup, following my GPS, I was on a road I’d not driven before.

It was a mess.

I was careful to drive slowly. But when I zigged to avoid one pothole, I couldn’t zag quickly enough to avoid hitting another one.

This time I watched the soup spill. Double stink.

My great life efforts are often marred by the stench of pain and discomfort I cause others. I’m not trying to. It happens. Great intent often doesn’t add up to great results.

It’s our human condition.

“We’ve sinned and kept at it so long! Can we be saved? We’re all sin-infected, sin-contaminated. Our best efforts are grease-stained rags. We dry up like autumn leaves–sin-dried, we’re blown off by the wind.”   Isaiah 64:6

My best can never be good enough for heaven. Not that I don’t try hard enough. I’m fundamentally flawed. I can’t help but break rules and hurt others. Even though much of the time I’m doing my best.

Jesus in me is the difference. His sacrifice on the cross for me covers the stench of my mistakes.

That’s a sweet aroma I can live with.

First photo courtesy of

Second photo courtesy of




12 responses to “It Smells Like Something Died Back There”

  1. Well, the soup was delicious and enjoyed by all. Thank you for sharing. You service to us was a pleasing aroma, Dayle.

    *Julie Sanders*


    1. You, my friend, are well worth it. How’s the move going? How’re you feeling? Any energy yet? So excited to see your new place!


  2. Try Unique Pet Odor and Stain Eliminator for the car. You figured the other stink out already!


    1. I so enjoy the fact that you, better than anybody, understands the difference between stinks–and has a solution for it. I think I killed everything with the abundance of vinegar. It’s actually starting to smell like a dorm bathroom after a weekend binge.


  3. I can get really irritated when I am trying to do something good and it doesn’t go smoothly for me. Kind-of like I think God “owes” me a blessing or ease for my good deeds! You have shown true service by delivering that soup again! I appreciate your heart!


    1. I appreciate your encouragement. The funny thing is I feel exactly like you–like He should owe me something for being other-centered. As opposed to seeing me in the light of His holiness, I see me in the light of my own “graciousness.” Refocus! Again! Thanks, sweetie.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dale, coffee grounds are what should help. I saw them do this on a plane trip where some horribleness had gone down….and they told me it removes smell….unused coffee grounds…go buy a cheap can and sprinkle and let it sit. Praying it goes away!!! ❤


    1. Well, that makes a ton of sense. As a coffee lover, I should know those things. Thanks, Debbie! You’re a genius!


  5. My great intent doesn’t add up to great results either, Dayle. Thank You for your reminder in Isaiah 64:6! I better concentrate on making HIM the difference! Blessings and keep on delivering!


    1. You, my friend, are a person I always anticipate hearing from. Thank you so much!


  6. alice fredricks Avatar
    alice fredricks

    A great picture of where we are without Christ! Now, to remember that when I “stink up” my life!


    1. Life without Jesus smells really rotten. How true, how true.


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