It is Halloween and I showed up at the church around 9 am so that I could get a front row seat for our Preschool Costume Parade. I love to see the kiddos all dressed up and excited for the upcoming evening festivities. I was running early so I went into the church office to drop off my stuff for the day. When I opened up the front door the smell of rotting flesh hit me like a semi-truck. Nothing says “Welcome to God’s House” better than the pungent smell of something that crawled into the attic and died! How appropriate that on Halloween the church smelled liked death.
Being the man that I am I did everything I knew how to do by asking someone to call our maintenance guy. He came and crawled up into the attic with no luck. In fact, the smell wasn’t even present in our attic. It was concentrated in our offices and had crept into our lobby and sanctuary. The Kidz Club area, on the opposite side of the building, didn’t smell at all. Thus, it was determined that the critter had fallen down into one of the walls in the office. Thus, we were left with a predicament. We had to get rid of the smell or we would be forever known as the “stinky” church by anyone who would visit with us on Sunday. Yet, we don’t have the time or the desire to punch holes in the office walls in search of the carcass. So, being the man that our maintenance guy is, he went out and bought a product that his wife had used at their house when they had a similar problem.
He came back a little later with five mesh bags filled with what appeared to be white rocks. He placed one bag in each of the offices and put two in the Lobby. We closed all the doors to the church that we had opened earlier in the morning, in order to let out the rancid air and to let in the fresh air. Magically, within a half hour the smell had been drastically reduced. The mesh bags filled with funny white rocks was called “Gonzo Natural Magic”. Leave it to a mysterious product named “Gonzo” to take away the smell of death on a Halloween afternoon.
Now, this isn’t the end of the story. As funny and gross as this is, you haven’t heard anything yet. I later ran into the maintenance guy and I praised him for his quick thinking. After he revealed the name of this wonderful product he went on to reveal the most amazing part of the story. See, the bags are meant to stay in their locations forever. After six months you take them outside and let them sit in the sun to “recharge”. Exposure to the sun recharges these mysterious white rocks, enabling them to return to wherever they live and take away the stink of death. Wow! I believe I have just found a new description for church. Now, whenever someone asks me what kind of church I pastor I am going to tell them that it is a place where the son recharges your life so that you can go out into the world and take away the stink of death. I don’t think anyone will go for it, but how about changing the name of the church to “Gonzo Christian Church”?