Does your dog think you stink? Our dog likes stinky things, and our dog is crazy about us, so maybe we are stinky to her. This well-reasoned thought was proposed by my youngest. Man’s best friend somehow seems to like even the worst of us. Whether it is a foul mood or a foul smell, they never hold it against us. I, on the other hand, have changed her food, sniffed countless pet shampoos, and have actually purchased doggy breath mints and deodorant. I strive to make her more tolerable to me.
However, she persists in smelling like a dog. And, yet I still I love her.
I love her mostly because my child loves her, and I see the delight in her eyes when she looks at her. Countless images of the two of them scroll through my mind quite easily, warming my heart and causing me to smile from the inside out. One summer day that comes flooding back was particularly hot and sticky. The two of them, sweaty and dirty, piled into my lap with exuberant tales of exploding fireworks. My instinct was to shove them away in disgust when, thankfully, the Spirit within gave me a check, “They smell like childhood. It won’t last much longer.”
As Christians we carry a powerful aroma. The glorious fragrance of our Savior is repugnant to many. The World - they stink to us, we stink to them. Often it seems we are both struggling in vain to make one another more tolerable. Love ends that futile struggle. “So that the world may know that You [God] sent me,” is the reason Jesus gives for bestowing His love so graciously. I have prayed, “Father, please do not let the disgust I feel with this person show on my face.” And, the compassionate Spirit checked me with, “They smell like the World. It won’t last much longer.”
“Father, so that the world may know You, may my countenance reflect Your love. Tell me how to show Your love to them. Let the love with which You have loved me be seen by them in me.”