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ANDREA BURKE
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A Dead Thing in the Vents

Andrea Burke

 Photo by  Ian Espinosa  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

Something died in the heat vents.

Something died in the vent and it makes my entire kitchen smell like death. Something is rotting and it’s 12” below my feet but it might as well be right on my table, in my drinking glass, on my plate.

The smell.

The smell.

The smell.

“Can’t you smell that?” I say to my family as I pry open every window just to get some hint of a breeze to take it away. I’ve thrown a small throw rug over the grate in the floor and stacked shoes in hopes the air will find another exit.

I’ve lit the most pungent Glade candles and diffused oils, and yet under it all, it remains. Like something out of a cartoon, the green haze seems to be underneath every floral and cinnamon scent.

“Apple Cinnamon Death”
“Fall Flannel Dead Mouse”
“Orange Peppermint Thieves Rotting Animal”

And I told my husband last night that it’s the perfect analogy.

Because my sin that I don’t deal with, address, or confess … smells.

And everyone knows it.

The rotting stench of something dead rises from within and we all try to use throw rugs to act like it will fool everyone.

We try to cover it up with theology, good works, impressive words, instagram posts, and smiles on Sunday. Whatever we can do to try and cover it up. Whatever we can do to avoid what lies in the dust and darkness of our own hearts.

“Look over here!” we say and we try to distract from the very real truth that something within us is rotting.

And everything we do and say lingers with the smell of death at the end. Something is not right and we know it to our core.

I can’t get to the dead animal in our vents, but I can get to the stench within me. Something died in the vent and it needs to be dragged into the light.

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” — 1 John 1:8-9