The Danger of ONLY Sniffing…

Detecting dirty diapers is usually quite easy.

Sometimes you can simply smell (maybe even feel) the odorous smog from across the room, informing your nose that there’s a baby (and a house for that matter) who needs to be rescued quickly from the funk that’s in her trunk.

Other times you pick up your baby dearest and catch a downwind of something rancid, directing your attention to a bum that needs a swift, clean wipe.

Sometimes you hear those little grunts and catch a glimpse of watery eyes and a bright, red face, alerting you to the imminent stench that is about to descend (both figuratively and literally).

Oh, and then there are those times when your 3 year-old gets a little whiffy of something rather stinky, sounding the drama alarm for all who are able-hearing that there’s a smell that’s starting to swell.

But then there’s that other detection method…

The one that some of us lazy parents employ when we’ve already changed FOUR poopy diapers in less than THREE hours (no joke, this happened today) and really don’t want to unzip, unbutton, or unsnap the 17 tiny, shiny buttons that never seem to align anyway…you know what I’m talking about, right!?


In case you’ve never used this method because you’re super awesome and even relish the unbuttoning, unzipping, and unfastening of really small snaps on a squirming soul that is trying desperately to make their way off the “adorable-far-from-the-ground-changing-table-that you-JUST-had-to-have-from-Target-but-now-has-teeth-marks-on-it-from-said-squirming-soul,” let me explain the SNIFFING METHOD.

You’re getting ready to put sweet, baby cheeks (no pun intended) down for a nap, so you look at the clock and think to yourself, “Hmm…she hasn’t had a bowel movement in 27 minutes, I wonder if she needs to be changed before her nap.” So…since you care about that little bum (not to mention an uninterrupted nap time) but are also a semi-lazy parent who doesn’t share the love of tiny snaps, you pick that little one up, roll her backside to your nose, and breathe in deeply….searching for any loathsome aromas.

If you locate a yucky stench that needs to be quenched, you quickly change that diaper. And if not, well…you breathe in an unadulterated, fresh sigh of relief, sing that baby a song, and run for your fleeting minutes of freedom.

THAT is the SNIFFING METHOD, folks. Feel free to take it, trash it, or tentatively use it! The knowledge is yours!

Anyway…that method is the one I almost always utilize before nap times, but yesterday played out a little different.

Around 2:30 PM, I started by using the SNIFFING METHOD and though all smells pointed to a clean diaper, that diaper felt a little puffy for my nap time liking. I just wasn’t convinced. Was there possibly a flaw in the tried and true SNIFFING METHOD?

After mommy-handling those snaps, I discovered upon peeking (I can describe the PEEKING METHOD in a later post) that there was indeed a smelly token that needed to be addressed.

As I was changing her diaper and attempting to keep her occupied with a loose sock and a plastic comb, I said to my sweet girl, “See, little girl! This is exactly why it’s always good to check! You can’t assume that everything’s clean! Sometimes dirty things can hide.” 

As the words tumbled out of my mouth, I was drawn by the truth of those casual words.

I finished my diapering job and rocked that sleepy soul to sleep, yet my heart and mind couldn’t let go of those words.

Some sin is like those foul-smelling, odor-filled, ill-reeking diapers. You can see it and hear it. There’s no mistaking those sins because they’re obvious, in your face, and alerting you (and maybe even others) of their need to be addressed.

But then there are those others sins, like the diaper I changed yesterday afternoon, that aren’t so obvious. The sins that are hidden deep inside the heart, appearing perfectly fine on the outside but reeking on the inside and doing damage to the soul.

Though these sins may be hidden, declaring a clean inside, the all-knowing, all-seeing God says…

“For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.”  -Jeremiah 16:17

These are the sins that require more than a mere sniffing on our part, a mere perusal of the exterior. No, these are the sins that require some effort, some time, and some serious soul-searching, prayer-asking, heart-revealing, honest-reflecting, Spirit-prodding work.

Oh, Lord…give me the willingness to search beneath the surface and address the hidden sins of my heart.

No, you may not kill and steal or deny them public prayer…

But what about that heart of yours that covets and compares?

Or what about that heart of yours that judges with a glare? 

Or what about that heart of yours that always wants it fair? 

Or what about that heart of yours that needs to know they care? 

Or what about that heart of yours that worries with despair? 

Or what about that heart of yours that doesn’t like to share? 

Or what about that heart of yours that never wants to err?

Oh, what about those places where the eyes are unaware?

Oh, be careful little heart… for the sin can still live there.


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