“Howl! Bark! Howl! Howl!” crooned the hound dog with glee at three in the morning after an extra lap around the yard and returning to the sunroom where he and his companion canine slept.
“Yip! Bark! Yip!” Maggie agreed. They’d done good.
Soon the barking woke up the people of the house and one staggered in her pajamas to the glass door.
“What?!” Sherry rubbed her eyes and checked on the dogs in the sunroom. “What was worth waking us all up at this hour?”
She opened the door and both dogs charged into the house with joy. The smell of skunk perfumed up the house faster than a bug bomb. As was their usual routine, they jumped their dance of joy, frisked about, wrestled and then sat expectantly in front of Sherry for a treat and a bowl of food. It was with their usual message, “Here we are, you lucky people! Breakfast time!”
Instead, Sherry dragged them one at a time into the shower for a good sudsy cleansing.
Fortunately, she had written down the formula from the vet: ¼ cup of Dawn dishwashing soap, ¼ cup of peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda—all mixed together in a gallon jar of water. It worked.
Both dogs had been unaware that in putting down their black and white intruder, they smelled, stunk up the house and woke their owners extra early. Unlike other times, even the people who loved them were not enthusiastic about seeing—or smelling them just now.
It’s like the aroma of sin in God’s eyes. King David asked for forgiveness in Psalm 51. He finally realized with prompting from Prophet Nathan that his serious choices were no secret from God with just consequences to come. He was guilty of both adultery and murder. He asked for forgiveness, was genuinely sorry and took responsibility for his actions. He humbled himself and begged for forgiveness. David pleaded with God,“…blot out my rebellion. Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge….Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” [Psalm 51:1-4; 7-10]
Cleansing—a priceless gift offered from our creator and God. As we review, reflect and are renewed each day in time with God, let us also be humble and ask for a cleansing. Stinkin’ sin: it crops us more often than a skunk. Deliberate choices, not doing something God prompts us to do, failing to forgive, worrying, acting on our own without listening to God’s guidance.
Asking for forgiveness, being genuinely sorry, and accepting the consequences is a continuous process on the road from here to eternity. Such actions last longer than a soapy skunk bath and strengthen our bond with God himself.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available where print books and e-books are sold. Look for Give Us This Day Our Daily Grin – A Fun-Lovers Guide to Spiritual Living and Growing now released for pre-sales on Amazon Kindle and other e-formats Smashwords as well as print coming soon. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, www.button-to-god.com.]