What Do You Smell Like?


I was out walking Tyco this evening and I smelled a familiar smell that immediately brought back a fond memory. One of my neighbors was obviously starting a charcoal grill with lighter fluid. I could smell the coals being prepared for them to grill on. It took me back to my childhood winters in Florida, staying at Vacation Village.

Our family would stay there every winter, from January until around Easter time when we would return to our NY home. I had no idea what a blessing that was that in some way, my siblings and I were the youngest snowbirds ever. We went to school in NY half a year and Florida half a year. We did this so that my Dad who was a contractor could build homes all year long to support our big family.

I look back now and realize how God used this unique situation to enable me to learn how to make friends easily. It was sink or swim. You either learn how to say, “Hello, my name is Mo,” or sit alone at lunch. I quickly learned this helpful greeting. The smell of the charcoal made me smile as I recalled this childhood memory.

I immediately started thinking of other smells that made me smile. The smell of fresh lumber being burnt in the fireplace at Christmas time and the smell of a pot roast cooking all day long on low at my Grandma Lawrence’s house every Sunday. I could never forget the smell of orange blossoms and homemade taffy and chocolate that signified a memorable trip to The Citrus Tower as a child. Oh how I loved watching them do the glass blowing and a window away you could see the ladies making the candy, like on the infamous “I love Lucy” episode where she and Ethel were sorting chocolates.

There was the smell of our horse barn in NY with the fresh cut hay and horse grain which always smelled comforting to me. Too bad my allergies kept me from fully enjoying one of my favorite pass-times, sitting on the fence watching my Dad ride and train horses on our land. I kept recalling memories of smells that were making me happy as Tyco and I rounded our last turn home.

I thought, to myself, what do I smell like to the world? Do I have an aroma that would make someone stop and say, “wow, I really enjoyed my time with her.” Or do I have a stench of self-righteousness or pride that would cause someone to happily not have to recall that smell again. The bible says that we should have the “aroma of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 New International Version (NIV) reads:

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?

We are supposed to spread the aroma of Christ everywhere! Do we? Do people walk by us and say, “There is something different about her”?  Or, are we simply blending in with the smells and sights around us? Do we look different than the world? Do we act different than the world? Are we making an impact for Jesus? Or is our aroma forgettable?

Oh how I want to leave the scent and aroma of Christ everywhere I go. I want to obey the instructions I felt Holy Spirit give me one day in my quiet time, “Everywhere you go, everyone should know, you belong to me.” Oh friend, I want my love for Jesus and my dedication to His commission to be so obvious to everyone that they can even smell it on me.

Do you? Do you desire a scent that will draw lost souls to a Savior? Oh, I do. How about we ask God to anoint us with His aroma everyday as we pursue looking more and more like Him. This way we can leave a trail of beauty behind us as we also look forward to the beautiful aroma of Heaven someday, in which I have no doubt, no scent here on Earth will be able to compare.

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