Summary: When we have faith we aren’t afraid of what is on the other side. Sure, some might say, “the smell will be awful.” But what we know has nothing to do with a smell. We know, what waits on the other side of the stone is the power of Almighty God.
Our sense of smell can be one of the most powerful of all our senses. The sense of smell can the most powerful of all our senses. It can generate good feelings like chocolate chip cookies or fresh bread baking. When we were living in Tyler I loved to walk in the mall at Christmas time. There was a kiosk that sold all kinds of seasonal scent things, candles and such. I loved a cinnamon fragrance they always seemed to have out when I walked by. It always made me feel like Christmas time.
There is also the negative side of scent. It can generate old memories, bad memories. Just the thought of how something smelled can also generate some humorous memories.
A few years before I went into the ministry we had bought Cindy a new car. We were working a lot with Cub Scouts in those days and I was looking for a place to for our pack to have a family campout. One day Cindy, the boys and I as well as an old friend drove up to Bastrop State Park in Cindy’s new car. We looked around a bit and I decided it was too far for what I was looking for. We then took a scenic route home that had us in San Antonio for dinner. That was all the good part of the day. When we finished eating we were going to head back to Houston on Interstate 10. We hadn’t been driving long, after the big meal we had eaten, Cindy and the boys in the back seat, my friend and I in the front, when everyone but me was asleep. It was good that I wasn’t asleep as I was driving.
Up the road a ways I could see something laying in the road. I couldn’t tell what it was, but I knew it was a dead animal. Traffic was such I couldn’t get over to go around it so I made a quick decision that I would straddle the animal and go over the top of it. That was a huge mistake. Even right before we went over the top of the animal I couldn’t tell what it was. It was dark. But, when we were right on top of it, virtually sitting on top of it, it quickly became apparent we were going over a skunk.
The smell was horrible, and that puts it mildly. I don’t think I have ever smelled anything so bad in my life. The smell was so bad, it woke everyone up. They didn’t go back to sleep the rest of the trip home. It was bad and it was all through Cindy’s brand new car!
We tried all kinds of things. We would leave it sitting outside with the windows down hoping the fresh air and sunshine would help. It may have, but not much. I don’t even remember all the stuff we tried to get rid of the smell. I do remember what finally worked, a box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, opened, under each seat and the ashtray filled with the stuff. This was before Fabreeze, I have no idea if that would work or not and it was back in the days all cars still came with ashtrays. Cindy and I neither one smoked so it wasn’t a big deal. When the good folks at Arm and Hammer tell you their baking soda gets rid of odors, you can take it from Cindy and I both. They speak the truth.
The smell of a dead skunk is legendary. There has even been a song about it by Loudon Wainwright III titled “Dead Skunk.”