my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my
hands be like the evening sacrifice.
In our house, one of my favorite
things to spot is this giant bag sitting in front of my washing machine. It's
black and red and huge! I lean down and slowly unzip the zipper and wait for
the smell. What wafts up at me?
Sweaty, smelly, little boy scent.
I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for that smell. I'll wash those gross hockey sweat
infested clothes for years on end, if he'll let me. To me that scent represents
so much more than just a gross boy who needs a shower. It smells like hard
work, determination, commitment, and doing something with your whole
heart, something he loves, and in which he finds unadulterated joy.
Now, I'm not sports obsessed. Nor am I a laundry slave to my 10 year old. :)
But here's the connection-
I think that God is a little like me opening the sweaty smelly laundry bag,
when we offer our prayers up to Him. Lately God has gotten not just my prayers,
but my blotchy, red face, heart's cry prayers. He's gotten my bottom of the
pit, arms raised, seeking rescue prayers. He's gotten my broken heart, life
crashing down around me prayers. He's gotten my frightened small voice in
the middle of the night prayers.
It gives me comfort to know that, to Him, these prayers are a beautiful thing,
like incense rising before Him…the sweet, sweaty smell of my
precious, difficult, sojourning life on this planet. He collects my tears
in an bottle. He calls my struggle "good", when I can not. Then He
turns it into something better than good.
Sister, what sweaty work have you been doing? What determined struggle do you
see in your own life? From parenting wee ones and big ones, slogging through
the work of grief, finding two more dollars to be able to make the utility
bills, caregiving for a beloved aged member of the congregation, serving in a
role that you don't love, to loving those who seem unlovable. That's all sweaty
And He loves our sweaty prayers.
Pour it out to Him.
*Here's my sweaty, smelly, precious
hockey player. He's equally embarrassed and loves it when I pray over him
before each hockey game. :)