Forklift Theology

Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.

What smell?


It should go without saying that there are two major smells in most warehouses. One is that of forklift or semi-truck exhaust. The other is body odor. This is not to say that other odors don’t exist in the warehouse environment. There are many other things that also have a smell to them, but body odor and exhaust are the two most common.

According to wikipedia, which is not necessarily a reputable source, the first commercial deodorant was in created in the late 19th century and is known today by its commercial name of “Ban”. The modern formula for deodorant was created in 1941. Prior to that, the idea of underarm deodorant was introduced by Ziryab of Al-Andalus in the 9th century. Oddly, it is not sweat that actually stinks, rather it is the bacteria on the skin that causes sweat to smell as the bacteria ferments.
The first direct reference to bathing in the Bible is found in Exodus chapter 2. This was actually a very important historical reference, for it was during her regular bath time that the daughter of Pharaoh found the infant Moses. In fact, there are at least 57 references to baths and bathing in the Bible. Oddly, not all of them necessarily have anything to do with cleanliness, as is evidenced in 2 Samuel 11 when King David sees Bathsheba bathing and decides he wants her for his wife. Bear in mind that Bathsheba’s bathing was incidental to King David seeing her and deciding he wanted her for himself.

Jesus also discussed the idea of bathing. When Jesus went to wash the feet of his disciples, Simon Peter asked Jesus to also wash his hands and head. Jesus rebuked him and said “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”

There is another form of washing which also took place in the Bible. There are fifteen references to perfume in the Bible. Of those, only once does perfume occur in the New Testament. In the Gospel of John, we read of a woman who bathed Jesus’ feet in perfume and wiped them with her hair. Of course this didn’t sit with Judas Iscariot, who would betray Jesus.

Simple truth, perfume and deodorant have been a part of human culture for centuries. I suppose that cleanliness and odor prevention is just one of those things which are a part of our human heritage. To that end, it would bode well to keep clean, not just in body but also in heart in and mind. Indeed, being clean externally should also symbolize the internal cleansing of our spirit by the forgiveness of sins by Jesus sacrifice upon the cross.

In labor, smells and odor will always persist. However, cleansing of the body will keep some of it down. The use of deodorant and perfume will further assist in keeping odor at bay, though perfumes do tend to have an odor of their own. However, a clean heart and mind are gifts of God and can only come through time spent with the Bible and a contrite and penitent heart. May God’s word, and gift of forgiveness and salvation be a cleansing to your spirit, just as water and deodorant are used to cleanse the body.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.


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