The smell of freedom

October 9, 2010

We are hearing a lot of stories about the trapped miners.  They should be freed very soon now.  Sixty-six days underground; confined.  Soon they will be free, can you imagine the party that is being planned?  Can you imagine the reunions?  Thirty-three men will soon be embraced as they have never been embraced.

I’ll bet there won’t be a single mom, sister, wife or lover who will greet their man with these words, “As soon as you take a shower, I’ll give you a hug.  You’re kind of smelly.”  No one will say that.  It won’t matter.  At all.

To me, this is just a wee illustration of God’s lavish love for us.  He doesn’t wait for us to “get it right.”  He doesn’t wait for us to get cleaned up so we can take a bath.  As the prodigal father, he runs to us! Open arms and closed nostrils.  Laughing with joy, delighted at our choice, he doesn’t even notice our smell.  After the fatted calf has been served, after the finest robe and the best rings have been shared, after everyone has gone back to their own homes, then he will make sure the water heater is full, and the bathroom is free, and then he’ll suggest a bath.

Like a freed miner, we are just so glad to be breathing clean air, we don’t even notice our stink, and neither does out father.   We smell like death, because we have been dead, but now we are alive, and God will take care of the stink later.  Right now it’s time to celebrate.  And the only thing we smell is freedom.  The only thing God smells is salvation.

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