A Dump By Any Other Name Still Reeks

Everybody has days where they feel a little off. Under the weather. Not quite right.

Often it’s a bug of some sort–not the crawly kind, but the kind that gets in your gut and makes you feel nauseated. This is a great time of year for that. Rain, spiked temperatures, a petri dish for 24-hour issues.

That isn’t my problem.

My car is making me sick.

I love my car. Beastie has been a faithful little vehicle. She gets great gas mileage and gets me from point A to point B efficiently. And I never worry about dings because she looks like dirt.

This past weekend I was bringing a meal to some friends of mine to help out the dad and kids while mom was out of town. I drove as carefully as I could, but it’s never careful enough.

Even though it was tightly wrapped in foil, food slopped over the sides onto the carpet in the front seat.

I’ve done this before. I was prepared. I had wipes to sop up the slop.

To finish my fiasco well, I heavily sprayed the carpet with Febreeze. Then did it a second time for good measure.

It was grand. For the moment.

The next day, driving to work, I noticed a peculiar smell. Nothing fresh and Febreezey about this. It reminded me more of a compost pile. Or land fill.

imgresThat was on the way to work.

As I was preparing to head home, the car, having sat in the sun all day, temperatures in the 90’s, humidity high, developed an odor far more intense than when I’d first arrived.

Cooking a bad smell doesn’t make it aromatic.

It now smelled like a college dorm bathroom after a weekend of binge drinking.

I thought I was going to puke.

I drove home with the windows rolled down and the air conditioning going full blast.

This is why Mom said never put on perfume to cover up the smell of sweat. You just make it worse.

Smells have a way of making themselves known. They can masquerade for a brief time, but the truly odious ones rise to be noticed.

People can be like different smells. Our presence, the way we act, the way we treat others, can cause some to wrinkle their noses in disgust, or smile with a satisfying sigh.

Living aromas.

The Bible says those who know Jesus have a sweet fragrance reflecting Him.

“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume.”  2 Corinthians 2:15-16

There are reasons we call people stinkers. They act like a bad odor. Nobody wants to be around them.

With Jesus living in me, I have what it takes to be a refreshing aroma to those around me. Not because I’m all that. Because He makes me new and fresh. In Him.

Like a rejuvenating shower that’s alive with the power to really get the dirt out .





7 responses to “A Dump By Any Other Name Still Reeks”

  1. EllIs Goldstein Avatar
    EllIs Goldstein

    this is a good one….but you still got shampoo the carpet!


    1. Well, my friend, that would require thinking about buying the shampoo and doing the deed. It’s so much easier to whine about it and ignore it until it goes away due to the eventual natural death of all smells.


  2. The sacrifices of serving others so well. Thank you for the dinner and your cheerful acceptance of the cost too. I once sprayed perfume on a bug collection I made for school. I never wore the perfume again, ever. That’s the funny thing about smells, if it ain’t the real deal, we just know, right?


    1. I can see the connection with a bug collection and perfume–but it’s a stretch, AB! And you couldn’t be more right–if it ain’t the real deal, you can’t help but know.


  3. Dayle, I go with your Mom [after a good laugh at you]. I have to get a better handle on the Living Aromas of Jesus and have a sweet fragrance reflecting HIM! Love to you and John.


    1. Stink is stink–but fragrant is a gift. Thanks always, Lo, for being so faithful to read and comment.


  4. Dayle,
    You may remember from my book (Grandfather’s Journal) but my first outing in prison ministry was after Chuck Colson called me personally and ask if I would join a volunteer group at Lorton prison south of DC for a time of ministry. Lorton was an all black youth facility for DC and was built next to the garbage dump that served Washington DC. “Sitting in my car on a black and cold December night the smell from the dump was unreal as I ask myself what in the world am I doing here. Through the locked gate with my first pat down search I was directed to the prison chapel”. As you so rightly said I feel satin was using the smell to tell me to go home you are wasting your time here. Once inside the chapel the smell left as I saw the love of Jesus being shared with young men who were going through a difficult time in their lives. 32 years later I am still being blessed as I see on a weekly basis Jesus changing the lives of inmates. Thanks for this precious reminder of what smell can do. I am still selling signed copies of my book if any of your readers are interested for
    $10 cheaper than WestBow Press the publisher.


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