They say that scent is our strongest sense, and from the way it can instantly transport me to places I once was and remind me of people I once knew, I believe it.
Yesterday, I took a trip down olfactory lane. As a gift to a friend of mine who just graduated from high school, we went to the mall to find her 'signature scent.' [The male readers just tuned out. Sorry, guys! :-)] We went from bottle to bottle and store to store sniffing and thinking and commenting on myriad perfumes. And after almost every inhale, you would have heard us say, "It smells like ________." We were always comparing the scents to something we had already experienced, something of which it reminded us [gardenia, oranges, coconuts, etc.].
And this morning, I found myself pondering how this is related to Paul's statement in 2 Corinthians 2:
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?
I've always loved this illustration, for I can picture it so clearly. I have a very sensitive nose. [Beware smokers; I know.] And people DO have scents--some of them pleasant, many of them not (in my humble opinion). So when Paul says we (believers) are spreading the fragrance of Christ in our wake, I 'get' the illustration.
And you know what I love? It is GOD who is spreading this fragrance through us. It is HIS work. Which is a good thing, 'cause sometimes, if He weren't a-workin', I wouldn't smell so good, ya know? I truly wouldn't be equal to the task without Him doing it in me.
So, here's to the fragrance of Christ: to some it stinks of death, to others it is the perfume of life. But either way, I hope when I walk by, that each one says to themselves, "That smells like Jesus Christ." Kinda makes the journey more valuable, no?
Spreadin' The Scent, one day at a time,
Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume...Jesus replied... "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. --John 12:1-3, 7b NIV