Wednesday, July 11, 2007


In high school, I dated a girl who worked at the local Dairy Queen. Some nights, I'd pick her up after work, just for the opportunity to have 10 minutes in the car with her as I took her home. Okay, maybe sometimes it would become a 20 minute trip, but you get the idea. I really liked this girl. But I couldn't get past the smell. You know...that greasy, standing next to the fryer, serving cheeseburgers for 8 hours smell. Yech! Her clothes smelled like it. Her hair smelled like it. And then, after I'd drop her off at her house, my car smelled like it. My friends could tell when Belinda had been in the car, from the smell alone. My houseparents could tell when I had been with her. It was some serious "residue." Conversely, she probably didn't like my smell either. I grew up in a children's home. "The Home", as we called it, was actually a working ranch. 900 acres of land. 350 head of cattle. 8-10 horses...and a few pigs. Yeah, I smelled like a ranch. I smelled like cow poo and hay. I carried that smell with me into the house after a day of working on the ranch. My clothes wreaked of it. Residue. You see, no matter where you go, there's some residue. There are traces that show where you've been. That's the way it is with our sins. They rub off on us. They leave a stink behind. And not just where you've been, but where the people you hang out with have been. You're carrying their residue too. Sometimes you get so used to the smell of your own sin, that you can't even tell it's there anymore. So you think you can lie to people. "No, I didn't do that!" But someone will be able to tell. Someone will smell the stench of sin on you. It's a like a smoker who swears that he quit two weeks ago, but wreaks of the cigarette he just snuck around the back of the building to light up. He can't smell it on him. He's too used to the smell. But he wreaks of it. You can smell it. It's residue. When Moses spent time with God, he had some residue too. It wasn't necessarily smell, but it was in his appearance. Spending time with God left "spiritual residue." Exodus tells us that his face shone so brightly, that it frightened the Israelites. He had to wear a veil to cover it, just so people would stop freaking out. Man, I'd love to be so close to God that when people saw me, they could tell. Can you imagine having that kind of residue? In Acts, Peter and John were speaking at the Sanhedrin. The "spiritual leaders" marveled at the fact that these two uneducated men were preaching with such authority. They said they could tell that Peter and John had been with Jesus. Wouldn't it be nice if our words were residue, left over from our time with Christ? I'm not much of a theologian, but I believe that Jesus' blood is kinda like Spray n' Wash and fabric softener all in one. When you accept Jesus as Lord, you wash in the blood to get rid of the stain of your sins...and find your heart softened. And it leaves you with that "spring fresh" scent! Ha! Wouldn't it be nice if that's all the residue that people see? Wouldn't it be wonderful if people could look at you and see that you've "been with Jesus?" 2nd Corinthians tells us that when we are washed in the blood of Christ, we become "the fragrance of Christ." When God looks at us, He smells the fragrance of Christ, and not our sins. Now that's the ultimate, powerful, stain-resistant, odor-killing spiritual residue! I wonder where you are today. I wonder where you've been. I wonder what residue you take with you. Are you trying to hide from a past that keeps catching up with you? Are trying to cover the smell of where you've been with something else? Are you so used to the smell that you can't even tell anymore? Take on the spiritual Spray n' Wash and fabric softener. Take away the smell of your sin. We could all use some of that spiritual residue. May you spend time with Jesus today. And may others see it--or smell it--on you.


Andy said...

Once again, Tim, let me say how much I enjoy your writing style. Perhaps you should post a little slice of your fiction here and get some feedback from your readers.

I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to offer an alternative interpretation (suggested by Prof. David Parris of Fuller Seminary) of 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 and include verse 16 with it. The triumphal procession can have a different connotation. Typically we think of it as us being led as the conquerors. However, it could be otherwise. When a roman general returned from a campaign, he would bring back captured warriors chained together as a display of his prowess. You might remember seeing a scene something like this in Gladiator. These warriors—chained as they were—could not wash or bath themselves, and the marching did not stop for them when they felt the call of nature. On arriving in Rome, these stinking captives were led in procession through the city to the arena. There, they were sacrificed to the Roman gods as a tribute.

In this context, we are the aroma of Christ because we are a display of his prowess: He has conquered us, and our lives are forfeit to his glory. To those who believe, we are the fragrance of life because Christ is our Lord, but to those who do not know Christ, we are the stench of death as they must submit themselves to this same fate if they intend to find true life.

Tressa said...

Hello Tim! Nice blog! I read your post from Kats blog and it broke my heart. Thanks for sharing. I like your thoughts on farting, your quite intuitive! I also was in a childrens home in Texas called The Methodist Home, ever heard of it? A wonderful testimony I would love to share with you someday! Blessings over you and your family!

Tim Glenn said...

No, I haven't heard of that home. I'd love to hear your story sometime. I checked out your profile, but couldn't see that you have a blog or anything.
Would love to learn more about you and your family.

God bless,