Yesterday there was a DUI trial that I watched as I was waiting for my matter to be called. In the presentation of evidence, there was a witness that testified that he smelled an odor of alcohol on the accused driver when he approached her following the single car accident in a residential neighborhood. The witness had heard a crash and came outside to investigate, admitting that he had also been drinking prior to hearing the accident.
In cross-examination, the defense attorney asked an important question, “how did you distinguish between the smell of alcohol on you versus the smell of alcohol that you claimed to smell on the defendant?” The witness hesitated before finally admitting, “I couldn’t.” He couldn’t tell where his smell stopped and hers began yet his initial testimony was condemning of her condition (I’m not saying she wasn’t drunk) even though his condition actually hindered his ability to judge hers.
How often do we do that? Focus on the smell of other’s people’s problems and conditions rather than recognizing that we’ve got our own smell? Even that our smell could be blending over into their smell to the point that we can’t distinguish where ours starts and ends versus where theirs starts and ends. It’s such an easy thing to think we recognize somebody else’s issues without realizing that our issues damage our ability to accurately perceive.
I’ve heard it called our inner cesspool before . . . the depths of our own depravity. The smell that is in us from our jealousy, insecurity, anger, lust or other conditions which sometimes have originated from some initiating action we have done or have had done to us. It’s healthy to take a whiff and recognize that it’s there. Only after getting a good whiff of our own inner cesspool can we allow Redemption to have a way in us to start to clean out the junk and replace it with a Sweet smelling fragrance that reflects humility, forgiveness and selflessness in the place where the mess used to reside.
One last thing . . . some of us believe, “yeah; I’ve done that – I took care of that when I _______________. ” Maybe, but the need for a nose to smell the cesspool never ends because “life happens” and those things that we don’t want will bubble up inside of us when pressed in different ways. That’s good news, because once we smell it, we can depend on the Solution to get it clean.