Cigarette Smoke

Among my “don’t likes” —
(cough, cough) this scent (so sorry)
— smoke de cigarette


This summer I hope to go on my very first every mission trip.

With a team from my church and beyond, I’ll be working alongside a family to help build a house for them. A Muslim family.

On the interest sheet, it says I need the ability to:

  • Carry heavy blocks (check)
  • Walk up hill (check)
  • Abstain from alcohol for the time in Bosnia (check)
  • Tolerate cigarette smoke (cough, cough – check)

I’m not a fan of cigarette smoke. There was a time in my life when it didn’t bother me, but sometimes now I feel almost hyper-sensitive to it.

It’s not just that it hangs in the room like low-lying cloud. It’s not just that it stings my eyes and makes me cough. But it sticks to my clothing and my hair. It lingers.

When my brother passed away, I had to stop at one of his friend’s apartments to get a key — and a cloud of smoke escaped when they opened the door to let me in. Once inside, in the smoke-filled the room, I felt my eyes burning. We talked in their tiny living room and I had to fight the urge to cough.

But I reminded myself that these were people who Stewart loved and that loved Stewart. Because of that, I could tolerate — I would tolerate — the cigarette smoke. Love makes so many things possible.

IMG_5087[1]When I think about my trip, I find myself almost looking forward to that lingering smell, too. Afterwards, when I get back home, will I pull something from my bag that smells of cigarette smoke, put it to my nose, and smile because of some memory it evokes?

I wouldn’t be surprised.

Love works all kinds of miracles.

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