I am not sure if you have noticed this in your home church, but at Pleasant Hill I am noticing something more and more – people with stinky feet. I asked myself, “What’s up with that?”
I am not referring to the faint odor that arises when we commence with the feet washing ordinance in a lovefeast/communion service. I am referring to a much more regular fragrance that seems to penetrate the nostrils every time I walk into a sevice. It’s as if the members of church have been busy working all week.
It is certainly not my desire to be rude or create conflict by alerting the public to this ongoing situation we have here. I am merely attempting, by publicly discussing it here, to bring it to everyone’s attention and encourage us all to take appropriate action.
My Theory About This Smell
I have been researching the cause of this odor, and I have come up with a theory. The smell is from a very special and unidentified group of people, who unknown to anyone else, are on secret missions to help other people.
There are members of the church who are actively running around helping others, not so concerned with entertainment, sleep, or selfish pleasures, but willingly giving up an evening, five minutes on the phone, or a few minutes after church to help meet the needs of others. Some are meeting over coffee to talk for a while, share heart to heart, and pray together. Some are going out for breakfast, discussing life, and talking through problems and situations they are encountering. Some are going camping together, getting together as a group to pray, or just having others over for fellowship. Some are meeting on their back porch, sending encouraging text messages, or sharing a testimony with another.
Older ladies are coming alongside and encouraging young mothers, teen girls, and young married wives. Older men are coming alongside and encouraging young fathers, teen boys, and young married husbands. Couples are hosting other couples to talk and encourage each other in their marriages and share wisdom and insight.
The youth especially are talking excitedly. Many of us have made recommitments recently and have been talking with friends and meeting with accountability partners.
Everyone knows youth have particular struggles. Feeling the pressure, we feel a deep desire to also see a church filled, not with saints, but with others who are just like us with a desire to do right. We wish we could see more of the older folks humbly share how God gave them victory. We love stories about struggle because they are so relevant and the positive endings give us hope and encouragement. We want you to lead us, teach us, and talk with us. Don’t be afraid to share a testimony. It never lowers your reputation; you would be amazed how much others will suddenly respect you for your bravery, willingness, and humility. You never know who you may be inspiring! We sense your excitement for us and we know you care. We respect you. Thank you so much for all you are doing for us.
Do you have stinky feet? Would you like to?
Our church “prayer focus” for May has been to pray for those who recently made recommitments and for those who have volunteered to come alongside them. On the first Sunday of the month, we were asked to stand as an indication that “Yes, we will pray for these people. Yes, we will pray for those helping out.” We will get involved in helping other people. How have you been doing with helping others and praying for them?
To those from other churches: are you also having this stink problem? Why, or why not? Would you consider making a similar prayer commitment in your home church?
Get started. Pass it on.
As I have received encouraged, I too want to be better at giving encouragement. My experience should dictate my passion to encourage others who are in situations I have lived through. I believe you would be surprised how much a simple word of encouragement helps when spoken from a sincere heart. If you don’t know how to begin, I suggest you ask a minister if they know of anyone especially that you could help based on your victories. The words “I am praying for you” are very powerful. “How did your week go?” or “Is there anything you want to talk about?” are excellent for starters.
If you are someone with clean feet and are bothered by the smell, then my thoughts for you come down to a necessary question: is the cleanliness of our hearts as important to you as the cleanliness of your feet? (Now, hopefully you are not all going to say, “I don’t know what you are talking about, I never wash my feet!”)
I am excited about this. The Spirit of God is working. These people may be losing some sleep, missing their easy chair, or giving up an evening hobby, yet they do not seem to be bothered, fatigued, or discouraged. In spite of their smell, they have a mark of tremendous blessing written across their face. They are truly servants of God, heroes of the faith, and powerful tools in the Kingdom of God. On behalf of the fallen, hurting, and discouraged, I extend a gracious thank you! You are not only making overcomers, warriors, and rebuilders, but you are doing this to Jesus Christ, and He is very pleased! Thank you for allowing God to use you in these invaluable ways!
Feel free to leave a comment with your own theories about this smell!
Disclaimer: No, that photo is not my nose.