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Down at the Upper Room, sometimes there are guys down there that are simply repulsive. Most aren’t that bad. But there are a few. I remember Danny. He has passed on. But Danny was quite a case. He stank. He peed himself and the urine odor was enough to make you wretch. This is not an exaggeration. You could sometimes smell Danny down three flights of stairs when you opened the door to the building.

Sometimes I would leave their and I would smell the awful stench the rest of the evening. It gets into your clothes and it gets into your nose hairs. I’d be sitting down watching TV and I would get a whiff of that stench.

Sometimes it gets so bad, you try your best to help them get cleaned up. They can take showers for free across the street at the YMCA. Yet Danny would go over, shower up and then put the same clothes back on. You give him some new clothes but after a week of urinating on himself, those clothes needed to be burned.

And here is the thing, you had to approach this delicately because Danny would insist that he doesn’t stink. “I don’t smell anything,” he would say. He was so immersed in his own filth and rank odor that he couldn’t smell it anymore.

I wonder how often we miss our own stench. Like dogs, we so busy smelling other people’s butts that we don’t realize how rank we really are.

David said, “Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me.” But maybe I’m just exaggerating. Maybe I’m be overly dramatic. Then maybe not.

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