How Do You Smell?

by | Mar 19, 2024 | blog

Last night we discovered a putrid smell emanating from the washing machine, the very device we depend upon to clean putrid smells out of clothing. Yes, I use the cleaning pods and do the things, but apparently it has been a few months too long since I have cleaned the upper section of the door seal. I’ll spare you the details, but I’m questioning the cleanliness of everything that’s been through the machine in the last few weeks.

It reminds me of another time we woke up to a warm refrigerator and had to remove everything in it. Underneath the containers there was a layer of filth that should not be allowed to exist from old, hidden spills. It’s shameful when your stuff reaches a point where the outside looks good, and a cursory examination of the inner workings seems fine too, but the hidden nastiness is overwhelming. The same is true of myself and the life I’ve cultivated around me.

I work to make things look nice. I put on a sweater and curl my hair to hide the aging, burgeoning parts I’m not so proud of. I make sure everyone plasters their smiles on as we get out of the car on Sundays, so no one knows we all just screamed at each other the whole way to church. And of course I hide the unfolded laundry before guests come over. I’m great at making the outside look neat and tidy but not so much at removing the internal grime.

Jesus called his opposers white-washed tombs, not unlike wiped-down, warm refrigerators or stinky washing machines. Doesn’t matter how clean they look on the outside if the inside is gross. The Pharisees and Sadducees presented themselves as righteous religious leaders, devout rule followers. Yet their hearts were rotting and full of sin. I too spend more time keeping up the appearance of a Christ-like believer than I do actually following Him and allowing Him to change my heart. The result is the hidden grime is still stinking up the place, no matter how well I hide it.