Inside the Smell

Real love prods us to give our all. Robert Ferguson tells a story about a woman research technician on the staff of a certain hospital. A resident surgeon asked the woman to call on a young man recovering from an operation which had left him with no bodily function below his chest. He was depressed and wished to die. And, he had developed severe gangrenous peritonitis. The accompanying odor was horrendous. When the technician entered the room, the smell was so staggering, she gagged, backed out of the room, and ran into the doctor.

“Have you seen my patient?” the surgeon asked.

“I tried, but I couldn’t breathe,” she replied.

The doctor reached for her arm and gently guided her back to the room. “I know it smells bad, but there’s a heartbroken and dying young man in there who needs to know we care. Go in and find the man inside the smell.”

Loves moves us to go the second mile, to disregard the foulest of odors for whoever needs us, for whoever catches our heart. Life matters. People matter. Individuals matter. Love the person inside the smell and see isn’t love gladdened by goodness.

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