Smelled Like Funky Religion To Me.

blur close up environment incense
Photo by Artem Bali on

I recently visited a healing room. The strong smell of incense, upon opening the door, warned there could be funky stuff inside…and my nose is rarely wrong. The room was filled with tulle and pillows and swords and crowns. Some visitors looked right at home while others looked a bit uneasy.

I wasn’t seeking a healing or praying for anyone else’s. I went there because friends invited us to an event. I also share some things in common with the proponents of healing rooms.

  • I believe in healings.
  • I believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are at work today.

But there were things about this healing room that I found too weird for my personal comfort–and weird is not meant as a pejorative. I like weird. I am quite weird by usual standards. (Which is why I get these invites). Furthermore, I can’t stand incense. I get an instant headache whenever I get but a whiff of it. I avoid places that use it. Unless I’ve already entered the front door to an event where I was expected.


When we finally left I told my husband the experience ‘smelled like funky religion to me!’ Which confused him. He hadn’t even noticed the smell of incense. So while I didn’t actually see any sticks burning– at some point I know that room had burned incense.

I was leery of the healing room going into it, and leery of writing of the experience here, (lest I offend someone). In both cases I simply went for it. I even engaged in quizzical conversation with a leader there. She wasn’t sure, herself, what all the pillows and tulle was about, or the columns, or the sword stuck into a rock (I didn’t even ask about the other sword hanging on the wall)…some people had shown up one day and ‘decorated’ and she was as surprised by the outcome as I…as we chatted on, I round-about shared the pain of my family estrangement. She suggested a character in the Bible as an example in moving forward. God had shown me that same character in the Bible too.

That coincidence wasn’t enough to convince me to drop all my guard, though. Incense aside, I am biased against religious icons and props. Maybe my conservative protestant upbringing shows there. Mainly, though, I have healed enough to heed any feelings of unease in my spirit. At one time I would have gone into self doubt or blame and shame and, eager to please, gone along with whatever my friends suggested. This time it was clear what I was to do. Spirit checks urged me to keep some distance unless/until God leads me back.

Yet the incense lingered, as incense does…so I looked up several scriptures. I have been ruminating on Psalm 141:2.  May my prayer be set before You like incense, my uplifted hands like the evening sacrifice. 

Maybe God likes incense? The temple incense instructions are detailed in Exodus30, as well as stern warnings against offering ‘strange’ incense. I was curious if that incense had ever been recreated. The Bible’s version prolly smelled better than today’s stinky sticks. Either way, I suspect God likes heartfelt prayers and worship best of all.

Author: justsaltwriter

Life has given me clearer skies and much better mental health. Therefore I felt it was time to overhaul my blog. Some old posts remain, as do a few followers. Other posts may be revived in the future. Thanks for being there for me while I walked through the fog of abuse. ❤️

4 thoughts on “Smelled Like Funky Religion To Me.”

  1. It must have been a strange firsthand experience. But I must admit that the “funky religion” thing kind of cracked my stomach, haha.

    I don’t remember smelling one, but I do know here in Africa my home, those are more used by traditional healers and witch doctors. And honestly, at the moment I am not able trace their link in the Bible. It will need some real study.

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    1. Tebatjo, it was a bit strange. I am glad you appreciated my attempts at humor, haha. One never knows what is going to be taken as offense these days. Incense has a strong connotation with eastern religions and those types of healings as well. Interesting to know it is also part of witch doctors. If you do that Bible study, I hope you share your results! Blessings

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  2. That weird feeling I had once. I went to Barnes & Noble one time looking for a book. The moment I opened the door I felt it. A heeding, if you will to not linger. I didnt even look for the book. I turned around an left. There was a heaviness in the air too. It felt…well…dark. Have never been back into one those stores.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Stuart. The Holy Spirit will guide us when we listen! We had something similar with a bookstore too–My husband and I were partial to this one independent book store near us. It’s gotten different over the past hear though. And the last time we tried going there we left without buying anything and both sort of ‘shook the dust’ off after we got back outside.

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