Word of Life

You Stink : Light a Match After Using Toilet


Few seconds after I boarded a jeepney in Manila, the passengers started looking at me and covering their nose. I know I took a shower , wore a clean shirt and pants so I was confident that wasn’t me..  Some passengers put a cigarette in their mouth and lighted a match,  Oblivious until someone told me “ you probably stepped on a manure or something.”  I turned the sole of my shoes to show them there’s nothing.

Later I realized its the smell of the stinking smoke from the burning garbage dump attached into my clothing and my perspiring body. Walking around the dump for years ministering to people you’d surely get used to the stench.


Pardon me but I thought same thing happens when you used the toilet you also don’t smell a thing. Until one day the late Ted Mina, former Hawaii representative visited us at our Manila missions house.  When he entered our restroom he puked on  the stench of someone who’d just been there.

Jokingly I told him there were 20 staff living in that house and they would not smell the difference after being in the dump whole day. He simply smiled, asked for a match and lighted it. He explained the burnt phosphorous absorbs the stench and it does smell good afterwards. Oh yes, lighting a match, that’s a good practice as courtesy to the next person.

Mang Angel, my barber from Smokey Mt. warned me though to be careful lighting matches on the toilet.  He knew an incident when a toilet exploded.  Inquiring further, he said some workers were excavating an extinct septic tank.

One guy wanted to inspect first so he removed the old toilet bowl and made the hole large enough for him to go down below with a flashlight. After a while he complained of the stinking smell and demanded a cigarette from the other guy. When he lighted the cigarette, there was a big explosion. So friends, be careful lighting that match… ha ha.


On a serious note it seems that Christians emit some kind of smell too.. a fragrance, according to 2 Corinthians 2:14-16. That fragrance can be smell of life or death. There’s a smell oozing out of us spiritually and its not the cologne or the perfume we are wearing.

Its the fragrance of Christ  I believe that fragrance is supposed to be something that creates a positive atmosphere. It can leave a mark or impression  to those around me by the way I speak and act., or the way I behave.

We are meant to be the salt and light of the world by His grace. The One who lives in us empowers us to love people. God is love.  He is the Source.  So I begin to love those unlovable people.  Many people walked around  broken, hurting, lost or in some kind of need.  I was told that I cannot give something I do not have.

Love is giving… when we begin treating the other person just as Jesus would treat them the result could be amazing.  Remember those WWJD bracelets .. “What Would Jesus Do” ? We should decide to be a blessing instead of being a burden. Let’s release those “fragrance” and make someone’s world rock today by speaking the savory Word of life.

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