When I let the cat out on the patio, I was allured by the aroma of the roses budding and blooming, so I walked over to smell them. That's when it happened. A putrid odor mingled with the beautiful fragrance, overpowering and defiling it. It was an all too familiar experience, so immediately I turned on the source of this treachery - the cat. "How can a creature so beautiful be so foul?" He had used our garden as his bathroom, despite my husband's masterful attempts at preventing that (chicken wire around and on all the plants, elaborate placements of planters, etc.).
As I searched for the source of the nauseating fumes, I contemplated the paradox of all that my senses were taking in - the beauty of the blossoms and of Romeo, our Snowshoe Siamese; the perfume of the roses and the noxious odor of Romeo's waste. God's creation, both of these, yet one had marred the other. It reminded me of how we are made in God's image - full of his beauty, truth, and goodness - but when we let our sinful nature lead us, instead of God's spirit, it pollutes us and those around us. Sin doesn't fertilize the garden - it stinks it up and eventually destroys it.
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)