It Takes Time

Years ago, I was counseling kids camp and about midway through the week, I received a phone call from my husband.  He informed me that our dog had been sprayed by a skunk. 

This is not the kind of news you want to hear when you’re an hour and half away from home caring for 12 elementary girls.  I was helpless to render any useful assistance, but I did lay down the law.  I ended the call with this statement, "When I get home that house better be clean."

Yet, I knew in my heart this kind of clean-up was going to take time...and true enough, when I returned home and opened the door, I was greeted by an overwhelming stench.  That's when my husband told me the rest of the story. 

The morning of the incident, my husband let the dog outside, and as he was holding the glass sliding door open, he saw the skunk.  He tried to call the dog back into the house, but alas, it was too late for the dog and too late for my husband to shut the sliding door. 

After the skunk did her deed, the dog bolted past my husband into the house and ran up to our bed and proceeded to roll her stinky, dog fur all over our bedspread, pillows and sheets.  My husband shooed the dog out of the bedroom, and she ran to the sofa to roll her stinky body all over that piece of furniture.  He yelled at her again, and she jumped down on the carpet and proceed to roll all over until my husband was able to quarantine her to the bathtub.   By this time, our whole house was affected by the skunk's spray.

My husband made a few more phone calls to reach out for help.  He tried all the  remedies he could on our stinky dog to no avail.  The deed was done, and no tomato paste, lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide was going to right this wrong.

If anyone has ever had to deal with a dog that's been sprayed by a skunk, you can identify with this story. 

The spray of the skunk didn’t just affect our dog.  It affected everyone that came in contact with our house or dog for quite a while.

Our actions can also have far reaching consequences.  As much as I tried to clean up the odor that lingered in our house, it was months before it was gone.  

Sometimes it just takes time to right wrongs.  There are no quick fixes or formulas to follow--just time.

The skunk spray was meant for our dog, but we were all affected by it.  And only time helped remove the stain.

If you are hurting today from the spray of words from someone remember this; He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their woundsPsalm 147:3

When you’ve been sprayed, remember who you are in Christ.  You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you. Isaiah 43:4

After a skunk attack, surround yourself with people who speak encouragement into your life.  Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

And remember, try not to spread the stink around.  A gentle response diverts anger, but a harsh statement incites furyProverbs 15:1

If you've been hurt by the words of another, it takes time, but eventually, all will be good again.  Hang in there.


  1. Oh my! A skunk! I love how you remind us even if we are sprayed with hurtful words, we should remember who we are in Christ. Great message.


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