I love the smell of a newborn baby. When my brood were all babies I would give them a bath and slather them with Johnson’s Baby Lotion. I think it’s one of the sweetest smells on earth. I would just stare through my sleep deprived eyes at the wonder of life. Hold that baby close and just breathe them in. So, so, so, sweet.
But what they don’t tell you as a new mom is that that baby can create blow-outs of epic proportions. Those sweet feet that you kiss when you give them a bath will get bigger and after a day of no socks inside shoes those stinky feet will rival the smells of the Atlanta Falcon’s locker room.
They won’t tell you that your kids will grow up to despise socks. The seams drives them out of their mind. They don’t tell you that their feet will always sweat and that they don’t care! They kick their shoes off and come to the dinner table and you’re thinking I’m not so hungry any more. They don’t tell you that if a kid does wear socks then they don’t ever want to change them and sometimes it takes an act of Congress or God to make it happen.
They don’t tell you that those sweet babies grow up to wet beds. They insist that you come look at the poop they made in the potty so we can all do the potty dance together. They don’t tell you about some of the other smells that we won’t even talk about. They should tell you to buy stock in the Ivory Soap Co. But they don’t.
And they certainly don’t tell you that the sweet innocent baby in your arms will one day be as tall as you ushering in the pre-teen puberty smell. UN..BE…LIEV….ABLE! I didn’t know armpits could smell like that. And the fact that I have to remind said pre-teen to take a shower? You’ve got to be kidding. I’m on a crusade against stick. When my 5 babies were born I received a gift each time from the hospital. A cute diaper bag, or a robe, or fuzzy slippers. A Hazmat suit would have been more appropriate.
Little kids might be made of sugar and spice but that quickly turns to smelly shoes and BO. What’s a mom to do?
Well, she loves them. She just loves them. When I look at my kids I just don’t see all the stinky. I look into their face and see their greatness. I see their innocence. I see their future. I see them grown up. I see their potential. I see my grand kids.
It doesn’t matter about the stench or the mess. I will take a spaghetti sauced kiss or a dirt covered hug any day. They can climb into my lap with their smelly feet. I’ll clean up the wet bed. They are awesome. The best kids in the world. And they are mine. What stench?
I don’t think I ever really got God’s love for me until I became a mom. I would crawl on broken glass just to be with my kids. God has done even more to be with us. Oh, how He loves us. When He looks at us He sees the potential. He sees all that we are capable of through His son. He sees our sins washed away by the blood of Jesus. He thinks we’re awesome, these children of His. What stench?
Can we be like our Father? Can we look past the stink and stench and recognize what’s behind it? Church, can we love each other in the Body of Christ like that, despite the “smells” of or brothers and sisters that turn us off? You know those smells, right? Their quirkiness. Their grumpiness. Their close-mind. Their talking too much. Their critical spirit. Their negative attitude. Can we look past the smells and see the potential? Can we just love them?
Church, can we love the people of the world, the ones that need to know Christ, like that? Can we get past the stench of sin? Can we see through to the person beneath? That person who is created in the image of God. The one Christ died to save. Can we wash them in the truth of the gospel?
Oh friends, don’t be afraid to get dirty. I once was in NY city ministering to the homeless. When I was finished that night I smelled. I smelled just like that man that I sat beside and shared a sandwich with. I needed a shower. I smelled that fellow before I even got close to him and I smelled him long after I left. It wasn’t pleasant, but when I walked away He was my new brother in Christ. What if I was repulsed by the stench? Could I stand before God one day and say, sorry God, he just smelled too much? May it never be so.
Get past the stink. Love the Body of Christ. Love the citizens of the world. Reach past all the dirt. Wash them in the truth of the gospel. You will never regret it if you do. You will miss so much if you don’t. Just do it. God will give you the grace to take the first step and He will be glorified in you.
Cheering you on!