Recently when the kids walked Belle on the hills behind our house, she found a smelly pile of—ahem—what should I call it? Animal droppings…fecal matter…poo. Belle sniffed at the poo, studied it a while with great interest, then dove in shoulder-first and rolled around in it.
Apparently Smelly Belly didn’t realize that her everyday aroma is awful enough, without the poo.
The kids burst through the front door, dragging the soiled hound by the leash. “Belle rolled in coyote poop! Just SMELL’er, Mom! Mom, you gotta SMELL IT!”
Later, I read that dogs do this dreadful thing on purpose–in coyote poo, dog poo, or anything’s poo.
“What smells good to you doesn’t smell good to your dog,” the animal expert said. No, really? That explains why Belle runs when I Febreze her.
“Dogs may want to hide their own aroma, so they can sneak up on the other animal.” Highly unlikely in the case of my Puppy Le Pew, who tucks her tail and hides from the bunnies in Petco.
“Most likely, dogs want the odor [poo] on them, so that they can identify themselves with the other animal.” Identify with a horrible stench? Hmmm. Maybe Stinkerbell and I aren’t so very different from one another–in a spiritual sense, of course. Sometimes I try to smell like the world. I am forgiven and cleansed by God’s mercy, but I still dive into sin after vile sin. I want to identify with the world’s selfishness and greed. I cover myself with its sickening envy and anger and pride. I hide my own aroma—the aroma of Christ—and forget my place as a child of God.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. (Romans 6:6-7)
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)
God, forgive me for covering myself with the world’s sinful stench. Let me put off my old, evil, “smelly” desires. Let me instead identify only with the cross of Christ, and let me “spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.” Amen.