We’ve had a cat problem at our house. There are two strays that keep coming into our garage and eating cat food for our two cats. We wouldn’t have such a problem feeding them, but they spray all over everything to mark their territory. Our garage stinks, my workbench stinks…they even get up on our cars and spray, so when we turn on the blower, our cars both stink! So we decided to feed our cats all they want once a day, then we shut the doors and keep them shut (our cats inside).
This morning Anita heard a cat outside wailing away, trying to get attention. We ignored it. A little later I noticed the two strays wandering off away from the house, looking quite dejected. I was glad they wandered off, but got to thinking.
Is there a lesson in all that about how we, as a church, treat stinky people trying to get into our church? People who are sinners bring their baggage in with them, and inevitably try to mark “their territory” on the inside. So is the answer to lock them out and not let stinky people become insiders, or is the answer for us to tolerate their stink for awhile and help them get cleaned up by being washed in the blood of the Lamb? I guess that becomes our personal decision, doesn’t it?
Tags: mercy, sin, stink
When I was a child, we always vacationed in Michigan. Dad had a home-made trailer that mounted to the car with two hitches and a single swivel wheel in the center. On one such trip, Dad was driving north on US 27 toward Lansing (these were the days before I-69), when a skunk waddled into our lane of traffic. Dad steered the car to straddle the skunk, but the trailer wheel got him – and he got us! As long as Dad drove the speed limit the smell was mostly behind us. But when we stopped at a red light in Lansing, the smell was overwhelming. At every red light my siblings and I moaned in agony. How embarassing!
We, too, need to be careful that the bad odor we attribute to those around us is not actually our own. Some people unwittingly carry a stench with them from marriage to marriage, job to job, or church to church, always blaming others for the stink.
God wants to take our “skunk scent” and replace it with the fragrance of Christ. I pray that God’s goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life (Psalm 23:6).
Tags: sin, skunk, stink