This Job Stinks

farm farmer pink ears
Photo by mali maeder on


I once knew a doctor who bought some land adjacent to a highway with the intention of building a medical clinic.  It was a beautiful site about a half mile from town with dark green soybeans overlooking a residential neighborhood.   The land was zoned agricultural, so he needed to get it rezoned.  The zoning meeting did not go as he expected.  The neighbors didn’t want a multi-story clinic on the site as they felt it would be the beginning of commercial development near their homes.


After public discussion, the zoning board voted to leave the site zoned agricultural which allowed planting crops or raising livestock but not a clinic.  In a most vindictive action, the doctor converted the tranquil farmland into a hog farm.  He hired a manager, built buildings, dug a manure pond, and raised hundreds of stinking hogs.  There was nothing the neighbors could do except endure the strong odor.


As a caregiver, you most likely experience unpleasant smells.  We are humored in movies when Dad changes the diaper with a clothes-pin on his nose using salad tongues to throw away the dirty diaper.  If you haven’t experienced it yet, you likely will, when your adult dementia patient messes their pants.  Maybe your patient is beyond the occasional accident and can’t control their bowels or bladder requiring disposable briefs.


Do you think, “I didn’t sign up for this”?  It’s one of the worst parts of the job.  Thank God for rubber gloves and air fresheners.  My wife recently commented, “We start in diapers and end in diapers.  We start with baby food, and end with baby food.”  That is typically the case with dementia patients.


In the book of Revelation, John was taken in the spirit into heaven.  He said God resides in a throne room of great beauty surrounded by four strange beasts with many wings worshipping Him day and night.  Jesus, the lamb, is there and twenty-four elders with crowns of gold holding bowls of incense.  John said the incense is the prayer of the saints.


There are sights like fire from seven lampstands and lightning coming from God’s throne.  The floor is like a shining sea, and the light around God is glowing like emeralds.  There are sounds such as thunder, and tens of thousands of angels singing God’s praise.  And to think amidst all the sights and sounds God chose the fragrance of prayer for the throne room.  He owns all the flowers on a thousand hills, yet He selected the scent of prayer.


Our prayers waft upward from a golden bowl in the throne room of heaven before the mighty God.   It lingers in the air before the Father, Jesus, twenty-four elders, and thousands of angels.  He chose powerful sounds and sights.  Is the fragrance He chose less potent?  The aroma of prayer is not calming Him.  Like the fire, lightning, and thunder, it is proclaiming His wonder and exciting those about Him.


We are proclaiming his power and glory when we pray.    Our prayers of praise recognize His grandeur.   But our petitions are no less recognition of His splendor.  Would we be praying if we didn’t believe His ability to answer our prayers?  Our requests exemplify our faith.   How He must love answering our prayers.  Look at this scripture:


So, let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16 NIV


We are told to come boldly before the throne.  We are all sinners who need mercy from God.  Christ paid the penalty of our sin by dying on the cross.  Until then blood sacrifices were made to God to atone for sin.  Christ’s blood paid for the sins of the world, and we only need to accept it for ourselves.   When we receive Christ’s salvation, we receive mercy.


When we receive mercy, we don’t receive the punishment we deserve.  It is explained like a prisoner being pardoned.  But the grace that follows means we receive gifts we don’t merit.  We are told to come boldly before God for both mercy and grace.  We aren’t to hesitate to bring our requests to God.  As a caregiver of one of God’s sheep, you need His help.   Don’t be shy.  Prayer is a powerful fragrance proclaiming His wonder.

© Copyright 2018 Ronald Milburn