Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How Bad Do You Stink?

“Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” John 11:3

Last month a group of youth, along with the youth director and his wife, went on a mission trip to South Carolina. Now if you have never been in Southeast weather in the middle of July then I am not sure I have the words that can describe it to you. Some words you might hear used are hot, humid, sweaty, sticky and miserable. Theses teens along with a few adults spent a week in Walterboro, SC walking the streets to witnessing in the neighborhood and doing home repairs on a couple different houses. Upon their return home they took an hour one Sunday night to share with the church about the work they did and the people the talked to. I was so proud to see a group of young people beam as they talked about serving the Lord. However, it was something the youth director’s wife said that made me think. She talked about how hard they had worked in the heat and how bad the smell was on the van ride back to the host church each evening but that it was also a sweet smell of love. That statement made me think, “How strong is my smell?”

I thought about when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with the oil. I visualize that once Mary had finished that she would have brushed her hair back and left the room. As she walked down the street – for days to come - the aroma of the spikenard would drift through the crowd. The strong smell would cause people to ask questions. Question like, “Where is that smell coming from.” “Why would she have used so much of costly oil?” In fact, Judas did ask this exact question because he considered her use as being “wasteful” and not of any value. I also imagine there were some in SC that questioned why a group of youth would have given up a week of their summer to work hard in the heat. To sweat. And to stink so badly. However, to God the body odor of those kids was as pleasant of a smell as the finest perfume. Both smells came from love, devotion and service.

So how bad do you stink? Do you smell strong enough that would cause other to ask questions?



  1. Great post, Amy! I have never thought of Mary's story from that perspective. Thank you!

  2. Whatever aroma is coming off of me, whether the sweet smell of nard or the sweat, I pray I always smell like I've been in the presence of Jesus!

    Great question, Amy.